I’m a great fan of creatively re-purposed gravestones. The memorials take on an undead existence: still commemorating their original subjects, but no longer marking their graves.

Well, if you thought that Cilcain’s arrangement of funerary spolia was striking, take a look at what’s been done at St Mary’s, Nercwys, Flintshire. They have closed and cleared the historic churchyard. Newer graves are to be found in the adjacent extension, including a garden of remembrance. However, they haven’t used them to frame paths or parking areas. Instead the 19th-century memorials have been arranged in 3 ways.

First, there is one linear arrangement around the edge of the church.

Then, there are two radial arrangements. The first is surrounding a cross-memorial and adjoining the south-east corner of the church. This a single grave is retained as a symbolic focal point, while the others cite it and the church.

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The most striking radial arrangement is around a sundial.

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The results are bizarre: arrangement and orientation have been reconfigured, and the memorials to the dead take on a collective role in evoking both connection and dislocation with the past.

A memorial ‘seat’ around a yew tree, no overgrown, is the only ‘living’ memorial, in that it was already not marking a grave, but a tree.