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St Michael, Kniveton, Derbyshire

15/03/2015: This small church is beautiful from the outside, with its tiny spire, but I find it a bit cool and austere inside. Maybe because of the whitewash. Maybe it was just a cold day when I was there. Just a personal thing I guess.

In the churchyard is a headstone for Merry Wibberley (great name) who died in 1814. His wife Ann died four years earlier and has a small engraved brass memorial plaque inside the church.

Lying on top of a table tomb near the porch was an upended slate headstone, dated 1786. The lower part of the stone, which would normally be underground, was rough hewn, which is common in early slate headstones. Full mechanisation where the whole slab was sawn to a perfect rectangle, came later. The rough part of the headstone came in handy - albeit briefly - for carving a test letter, perhaps done by an apprentice. There was a coarse letter P and a few other deliberate lines, cut on an area which was never intended to be seen. There is a blog post about this practice here.

Poor Frank has carved only one real headstone, for the stillborn son of a friend. The stone is Hopton Wood limestone, carved by Frank, installed by the child's father. It stands in Kniveton churchyard.

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