Sunday, October 30, 2011

North Cemetery, Portsmouth, NH

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Continuing with my Halloween tradition of bringing you the headstones from some of New England’s oldest burying grounds, today I will show you some of the unique headstones from the North Cemetery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Portsmouth is a historical city on the seacoast of New Hampshire. This cemetery has headstones that span a wide history, from the early Puritan style carved in slate and red sandstone up through the Victorian period with the rich symbolism into the late 19th century when cemeteries began to be more like parks. As you can see from the photo above of just one section there are a wide variety of styles of headstones. Unfortunately, the white marble stones are taking a beating and will probably be disintegrated in the years to come. Today, I want to show you some of the more unique headstones in the cemetery

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Click to enlarge. ©2011 Steve Borichevsky

The headstones below are a two good examples of the transition from the 18th century style where graves were marked with headstones that warn of death to the early 19th style with its layers of symbolism. The skull is a symbol of death ascending into heaven. On the right, the weeping willow and urn are both symbols of morning and sorrow.

Click to enlarge. ©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Click to enlarge. ©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Detail of an angle on a 1765 headstone. Note that this woman lived to the age of 84 attesting to the fact that it was possible to live a long life.

Click to enlarge. ©2011 Steve Borichevsky

These purple markers hold up to the elements very well.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

This wonderful carved marble memorial is for a child that passed away at the age of five months and ten days.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

I’ve seen this sun motif on other stones, but this is the only one I’ve seen in this cemetery.

Click to enlarge. ©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Another stylized angle. (Note, this is John Langdon, Jr., not Gov. John Langdon referred to in the historical marker. He is in a tomb is this same cemetery.)

Click to enlarge. ©2011 Steve Borichevsky

This wonderful headstone is from 1803, a period when we see a transition in headstone motifs.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

This is a very unique headstone. I wonder if this was erected at a later time. I have seen this in some occasions where a grave marker was upgraded at a later date. I’ll never know.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Another example of an angle.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Finally, I present this wonderful carving.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Click to enlarge. ©2011 Steve Borichevsky

I hope you enjoyed visiting this cemetery. If you are interested in New England headstones, you may want to check out my previous headstone posts.

1 comment:

ksdoolittle said...

Marvelous info and pictures! I remember your postings from last year. I've wandered many an old cemetery in New England and have always marveled at how many people lived to a ripe old age!

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