Poor Frank Raw

Headstones, churchyards, taphophilia and letter carving

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You won't walk far in a churchyard before you find a headstone with something wrong. Place names, dates, spellings, even the date of the death. Were people sloppy in their work in the past? Or are we just being picky?

Only after I learned to carve lettering on stone did I start looking more carefully at headstones. To be fair to the past, the spelling of place names and even people's names was not fixed. There was no rule, but one spelling generally rose to the top of the pile and became the 'right' way to spell the word.

Sometimes though, the letter carver just got it wrong and we can see the evidence. This site records a few of the errors I have seen and how the letter carver tried to deal with the problem. I also point out the techniques letter carvers used to hide or fix their errors, some details of lettering styles through the years and I make occasional notes on the churches themselves.

The menu at the top takes you to the churches I have visited and some of the things I have seen. The panel on the right shows what I have done recently. Feel free to tell me what you think.

© Copyright Poor Frank Raw, 2017