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St Michael and All Angels, Hathersage, Derbyshire

03/08/2015: I have just one photo of a stone in the churchyard with an iron-rich nodule on the front face - I'm sure there were more. I'm also sure I have seen another churchyard where they are common. Perhaps in Hope (the town in Derbyshire), just a few miles up the road? I'll look out for more.

In 1821 a 46 year old mother, Deborah Middleton, and her unnamed infant son, died on the same day. A late baby even today, so very risky 200 years ago. We don't know if the baby was born that day or if mother and child survived a day or two after the birth, but they didn't have a chance to baptise the child so I guess it was quick. Another reminder to be thankful for free healthcare, good perinatal care and vaccinations.

The headstone to the infant Henry Robinson caught my eye because of the lovely lighting. Though mossy the stone is still in very good condition, well laid out and very well cut. It uses wording seen on a lot of headstones, "Here Resteth all that was mortal of...", but it uses an unusual form of words too, describing the child as departing this life "in the Purest Innocencey".

The headstone to the Greaves family, erected after 1865, has a patch at the top which doesn't sit very flush with the surface. The text is cut in a Victorian Gothic script, fashionable at the time, which makes it hard to read. The 10th son of Ralph and Eliza Greaves, who gloried in the name Charles Marmaduke Handley Greaves, was killed "in the attack on the Stockade at Pukemaire", New Zealand, during the Maori wars.

Inside the church is a very attractive mosaic memorial in an alabaster frame, in memory of Arthur Lovell Camell who "died in America from the result of a fall". On the north side of the sanctuary is a niche tomb with several brasses, for knight, Robert Eyre and his wife Joan, erected after 1643. The (rather dark) chancel has a collection of other brasses and memorials. The chancel roof features carved wooden angels.

© Copyright Poor Frank Raw, 2016