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principles of simplicity, order, and neatness, as guides in laying out churchyards, we shall next proceed with the details.
Situation and Soil. — It is almost unnecessary to observe that a country church ought either to be built adjoining the village for which it is intended, or, if it is to serve two or three villages, in a situation central to them. The surface of the ground ought to be an elevated knoll, in order that the church and the spire may be seen on every side, and, if possible, throughout the whole extent of the parish. The knoll should be sufficiently large to admit of its summit being reduced to a level, or, at all events, to a nearly level, platform, or piece of table land, about the size of the churchyard ; a level surface being more convenient for the purpose of interment than a sloping one, for a reason that will be given hereafter. Besides which, the ground plan of a church being a parallelogram, to see it rising out of a round knoll would be contrary to every idea of a suitable and secure foundation. Where there is no want of room, or not many burials likely to take place, the surface of a churchyard, instead of being levei, may be quite irregular ; but, in this case, the places for graves, and the walks of communication to these places, must be rendered easily accessible, and, to a certain extent, level. This can always be effected by laying the ground out in terraces ; a mode of disposition which may be as advantageously adopted in churchyard gardening, as it is in gardening as an art of culture. The soil should, if possible, be sandy or gravelly, as being most suitable for promoting animal decomposition; and also because there is a general prejudice in favour of being buried in dry soil. The worst of all soils for a churchyard is a stiff
' wet clay ; which, by its conipactness and retention of water, prevents the natural decomposition of the body, and changes it into an adipose substance.
The Size of the Church, and the Extent of the Churchyard, will depend on the population for whose service they are intended ; and on the probable slowness or rapidity of its increase. The form of the church may be considered as fixed, hy precedent and immemorial usage, in that of a parallelogram, with or without projections at the sides, so as to give it the form of a Latin cross; and having a tower, steeple, or cupola, at one end, for the church bells and a clock. There are some examples, however, of churches having been made semicircular, circular, or polygonal, in the plan, so as to suit them to par. ticular situations.
The form of the churchyard is not fixed, like that of the church, but will
on each side a neat low wire fence, and beyond this is the burying-ground, the greater part of which is dug and planted with herbaceous plants, interspersed with low trees and flowering shrubs, and divided by walks, in some places straight, and in others winding. The whole is interspersed with graves and gravestones; and, as the gates in the wire fence are all kept locked, no person is allowed to walk among the graves who is not admitted by the gardener. Every recent grave is covered with a mound of green turf, kept smooth by clipping or mowing, and all the rest of the ground is kept dug and planted; so that no flowers can be said to be grown on the recent graves, but only beside them. The recent graves are those in which interments have taken place within two or three years; and are always known by being covered with green turf, which is kept fresh by watering, and short and thick by frequent mowing. Nothing that we ever saw in a cemetery or churchyard comes up to the high keeping displayed in this one. The walks and their edges were perfect; the grass every where like velvet ; the dug ground as fresh and garden-like as if it had been recently dug and raked; the flowers neatly staked and tied up, where tying was required ; and not a single decayed fower or leaf could we observe any where. The boundary walls were covered with ivy and other climbers, and we observed trained on them one or two fig trees and some other plants of the tree kind; but, as in consequence of the wire fence we could not get into the interior walks, we speak only of what we saw from the avenue. (Gard. Mag., 1842, p. 349.)
naturally be determined jointly by the form and position of the church, and the form of the ground which surrounds it. If the ground be level, or nearly so, then the outline of the churchyard may coincide with that of the church, so as also to form a large parallelogram, in the direction of east and west, that being the prescribed bearing of all Christian churches. There is, however, as we have already seen (p. 477.), a great disadvantage in placing the church so as to bear east and west, which is, that the north side, both of the church walls and the part of the churchyard next them, is kept great part of the year in the shade, and the ground is consequently rendered damıp, and uninviting to bury in. We are happy to find that in some parts of the country the advantage of a diagonal bearing is beginning to be understood and acted on, both in dwellings and churches. Indeed, no single building or row of houses, or street, should be set down in the direction of east and west, unless there is some very decided reason for doing so.
If the church be situated on the summit of a conspicuous conical hill, or dome-like knoll, then the outline of the churchyard will be determined solely by the ground, and may be circular, oval, or roundish ; and we may here observe, that, when cases of this kind occur, as they are not very common, we think the ground plan of the church ought to be round, or roundish, also. In general, the position and form of the churchyard ought to be such as will have a good effect from all the different parts of the surrounding parish from which it is seen ; while, at the same time, it should look well from its immediate vicinity, and also from the different doors and sides of the church.
The Site of the Church should be central to the natural shape of the ground which is to constitute the churchyard, when that shape is in any way remarkable; but, where the surface of the ground is level, the church may be placed nearer one end of the parallelogram, or other-shaped piece of ground, which forms the churchyard, than another ; or even nearer to one side, provided this is not attended with injustice to the parishioners. In general, the exact position of the church within the churchyard, when not determined by natural circumstances, ought to be regulated by the number of sides on which it is approached. If the parish lie equally round the church on every side, there will be at least four gates to the churchyard, corresponding with the four cardinal points ; and in that case the church ought to be in the centre of the churchyard ; but, if there be only a gate at one end, or if there should be several gates all nearer one end than the other, the church ought to be placed accordingly.
The Ground Plan of the Church, its exact position in the churchyard, the boundary lines of the latter, and the different churchyard doors or gates being fixed on, before any thing farther is done, the church ought to be built ; and we shall suppose that its elevation is so designed as to appear to rise from a platform of gravel or pavement, of from 10 ft. to 20 ft. wide, according to the size of the church ; this platform, or terrace, being supported by a sloping bank of turf, at an angle of 45°, and furnished with flights of steps opposite each of the churchyard gates. Underneath the surrounding platform there ought to be a deep barrel-drain or box-drain, for receiving the rain-water from the roof of the church, and thus keeping the foundations dry; and from this drain there ought to proceed others of the same kind, under each of the walks which lead from the church platform to the boundary wall. These last, besides carrying away the water collected in the drain which surrounds the church, will dry the subsoil of the churchyard generally, and enable it the better to absorb the water of decomposition; and receive the surface water from the walks, through gratings placed at regular distances.
The Boundary Fence of the churchyard should be such as to exclude every kind of domestic quadruped ; but it is not, in general, necessary that it should be so high as to prove a barrier to man; because it may fairly be supposed that most persons will reverence the interior more or less, and that those who are without this reverence will have, in general, nothing to gain by breaking into such a scene. We here exclude altogether the consideration of bodystealing, which a recent judicious law has rendered no longer a profitable business, more especially in country places As swine and rabbits are particularly offensive in churchyards, especially where the soil is sandy, the boundary fence should either be a low wall of 3 ft., surmounted by a holly or thorn hedge; or a wall of 6 or 7 feet in height, without any hedge. In the latter case, the inner face of the wall may be planted with common ivy. Where the churchyard is to be united with the adjoining lawn, garden, or pleasure-ground of the parsonage, the boundary fence on the side next the residence may be an open iron railing; and, where it is to be united with a pleasure-ground on a large scale, or a park, it may either be surrounded by an open iron railing, or by a deep and wide sunk fence. If a hedge is in any case determined on as the boundary to a churchyard, it ought to be kept much broader at bottom than at top, in order that it may grow quite thick and close there; and the only plants fit for such a hedge are the common white thorn and the holly.
The Walks of a Churchyard are of two kinds: those for proceeding from the different gates in the boundary fence to the church doors, for persons going to, or returning from, the church; and those which make the circuit of the churchyard, for the more conveniently viewing the tombs and graves, and for conducting funerals. The walks proceeding from the entrance gates in the boundary fence to the church doors should be always in straight lines, and of a width proportionate to the size of the church and churchyard, but never narrower than 6 ft. ; because this is the least width which will allow two persons abreast, carrying a coffin between then on handspokes, to pass solemnly along ; the width, indeed, should be greater rather than less, because nothing can be more indecorous than to see a funeral procession crowded and huddled together for want of room. In every case, we would, if possible, place the entrance gates so that the walk from them to the church, whether to its sides or its ends, might always meet the building at a right angle.
With respect to the walk round the churchyard, it should in every case, and whether the churchyard were small or large, be at a distance of at least 10 ft. from the boundary wall, in order to leave a border sufficiently broad for a range of graves to be placed at right angles to the wall. This walk should be of the same breadth as the others ; and, like them, in no case less than 6 ft. for the reasons already mentioned. In most churchyards this boundary walk, and the cross walks necessary as approaches to the church, will be sufficient ; but, where this is not the case, cross walks from the boundary walk to the terrace round the church may be added ; or a second surrounding walk may be formed, half-way between the terrace or walk round the church, and the circumferential walk.
The grassy Surface of a Churchyard, when it is newly laid out, should, of course, be even ; and the nearer it is to level, the more convenient will it be for all the purposes of interment. Whether even or uneven, it should always have a descent from the church, rather than towards it, for the sake of throwing off the surface water; and in strong clayey soils, in moist climates, provision ought to be made by surface gutters, even in the turf, for conveying the water to underground drains, or directly along the surface to the boundary of the churchyard.
Trees in Churchyards.—The number of trees which may be introduced into a churchyard depends on its situation and soil ; the great object, next to that of leaving abundance of room for the graves, being to preserve dryness, in order to permit the escape of the mephitic effluvia that may rise to the surface, which can only be effected by the admission of abundance of light and air. Where the soil is clayey, and the situation low, very few trees are admissible; and these few should be small fastigiate-growing kinds, that neither cover a large space with their branches, nor give too much shade when the sun shines. In an elevated open situation, where the soil is sandy or gravelly, the trees in a churchyard may be comparatively numerous ; because the shelter which they will afford in winter will produce warmth to persons crossing the churchyard to church ; and, from the airiness of the situation, and dryness of the soil, they will not produce damp when their leaves are on in summer, but will freely admit of evaporation from the surface.
Supposing a new churchyard to be planted, we should place the trees chiefly at regular distances, in rows parallel to the walks. There are very few churchyards that would bear more trees than a row on each side of the circumferential walk, and also on each side of the walks leading from the entrance gates to the church doors; while, in cases of limited extent, and a clayey soil, a row of trees, planted at regular distances along the boundary fence, will, perhaps, be as many as can be introduced without producing damp; and, in others, a few trees along each side of the principal walk from the entrance gate of the churchyard to the church will, perhaps, be enough. It must not be forgotten, that the principal part of the area of a churchyard, in general, lies from east to west; and, consequently, that all trees planted in that direction will throw a shade upon the ground the greater part of every day that the sun shines, throughout the year. For this reason, where the soil is so damp, or the situation so confined, as to render it advisable to introduce but very few trees, these ought either to be in lines along such of the approaches to the church terrace as lie in the direction of north and south; or to be introduced as single trees, at the intersections of the cross walks with the boundary walk.
The kinds of trees to be planted in a churchyard form a subject of as great importance as their number ; because a single tree of some species will produce more bulk of head, and consequently more shelter, shade, and damp, than half a dozen trees of some other kinds. As a guide in the choice of the kinds of trees, it may be adopted as a principle, that none ought to be planted which will grow higher than the side walls of the church; because to conceal the church by its appendages or ornaments is inconsistent, not only with good taste, but with common sense. By good taste, in this instance, we mean allowing the church to have its proper expression, as the principal and most dignified object in the landscape. Thorns, hollies, maples, sycamores, yews, mountain ash, wild service, &c., are suitable trees for the churchyards of very small churches ; and the common maple, some species of oaks, such as the evergreen oak, the Italian oak, and some of the American oaks, with a host of other middle-sized trees, are suitable for the churchyards of churches of the ordinary size. There are very few country churches, indeed, which have even their towers or spires sufficiently high to admit of the
stronger-growing elms or poplars being planted in their churchyards. The Oriental plane (not the Occidental) may be especially recommended, on account of the stone-like hue of its bark and foliage, its finely cut leaves, and agreeable shade, for churches of both the largest and the middle size. The purple beech would harmonise well in churchyards with the dark yew ; and the flowering ash is, also, a very suitable tree.
As all trees in churchyards must be liable to have their roots injured by the digging of graves, this is one grand argument for planting the trees alongside the walks ; because in that case there will be always one side of the tree the roots of which will remain untouched, viz. those which spread under the walk. For the same reason, trees with roots that spread near the surface, such as the pine and fir tribe, should seldom be made choice of. Were it not on this account, the cedar of Lebanon would be one of the most fitting of all trees for a churchyard, from the sombre hue of its foliage, and its grand and yet picturesque form ; from the horizontal lines of its spreading branches contrasting strongly with the perpendicular lines of a Gothic church; and, above all, from the associations connected with it, on account of its frequent mention in Holy Writ. For all these reasons, it were much to be wished that, in all new churchyards, two or three spots (each of about 30 ft. in diameter) were set apart, not to be broken up for interments, and each planted with a cedar of Lebanon. In many old churchyards in the country, a spot sufficiently large for at least one cedar might easily be spared ; and the clergyman or the churchwardens who should plant a cedar on such a spot, and
fence it sufficiently while young, would confer a grand and appropriate orna. ment on the church, and would deserve the gratitude of the parishioners.
No trees should be planted in a churchyard the natural habit of which is to grow near water, such as willows, alders, &c. ; because the expression conveyed by such trees, being that of a moist situation, is altogether unsuitable for a churchyard ; nevertheless, as the public in general do not participate in these associations, one of the most popular trees in churchyards every where is the weeping willow. On the whole, the cypress, the yew, the Irish yew, the red cedar, the Swedish and Irish junipers, the Juniperus recúrva, the Oriental arbor vitæ, the different species of thorns, the common Montpelier, mountain, and other maples, the wild service, the whitebeam tree and its hybrids, the holly, and a few others, are the most suitable low trees for churchyards; next, those which grow about the height of the Norway maple; and, lastly, those which rank in point of size with the Oriental plane.
The System of Interments in Churchyards is, in general, very imperfect ; and, indeed, in many cases no system whatever is adopted. The obvious principle is, to place the tombs near the eye, and consequently near the walks; and to place the graves without gravestones in the interior of the compartments. For this reason, we would reserve a strip of ground, 10 or 12 feet in width, along both sides of the walks (which would include the whole of the space between the boundary walk and the boundary wall); these strips should be devoted exclusively to family burial-places, whether merely indi. cated by corner stones, or railed in, or containing gravestones or tombs. The whole of the compartments being thus bordered by strips for family burial-places or purchased graves, the interior of each compartment might either be laid out in strips parallel to the borders, with gravel walks between; or devoted to graves without marks, laid out in the manner of a garden, with regular alleys of turf between. The manner of arranging these graves, and all the regulations respecting them, should be much the same as those recommended for cemeteries, p. 158.
In Germany, it is customary, in some churchyards, to bury all the children under a certain age, who are not to have grave-marks, in a compartment by themselves ; not only because the waste of ground occasioned by placing large and small graves together is thus avoided, but because it is found that, in the case of children, the ground may be used again much sooner than the ground in which adults have been buried. But we do not think it necessary to recommend such a practice for Britain, where churchyards are, or may be, increased in size with the increase of population; and where it is desirable that no grave should be opened after it has once been filled.
On the Continent, as well as in many parts of Britain, the extent of the churchyard in country parishes remains the same as it was several centuries ago; the consequence of which is, that, in districts where the population has increased, the graves are crowded together so as to obliterate one another, and the ground raised considerably above the surrounding surface, as well as above the floor of the church. Every time a grave is dug in such churchyards a great number of bones are thrown up; which are deposited in the first instance in the charnel-house, and, in many cases at least, sold afterwards to bone collectors, who ship them to Britain, along with the bones of quadru. peds, to be crushed for manure. (See Gard. Mag. for 1842, p. 546.)
Fig. 107. is the ground plan of a churchyard laid out agreeably to the foregoing principles; and fig. 106. is an isometrical view, supposing the trees to have been ten or twelve years planted, and some of the gravestones and tombs to have been erected. The churchyard is of small size, and is adapted for an agricultural parish, where the majority of the inhabitants are in moderately good circumstances, and whence it is supposed the superfluous population will inigrate to the towns, and leave the number of permanent inhabitants comparatively stationary. There is only one entrance to the churchyard (at a fig. 107.), over which there is an archway for the protection of persons waiting during rain or snow. The walk is 8 ft. broad, and proceeds direct to the steps