Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Wednesday 20th September 2017

One of the lessons we have learnt over the course of this project is that you need to assume that every detail is important no matter if it seems insignificant at first.
Now that we are more familiar with our gravestones and the cultural history bound up with them we are returning several times to re-take photographs and more detailed measurements. Such details as the very small carved motifs, the shaping of mouldings at the sides ; these should be recorded with as much care as the inscriptions.

When the weather permits we now take the opportunity to go back out into the churchyard and fill in some of these gaps with new measurements and photos.  Today was such a day and we enjoyed a nice day out in the open, while Jen rested her sprained foot, sitting at the laptop inside the church entering the new data. 

This is a serious business, I'll have you know .... 
Much of the afternoon was taken discussing arrangements for the weekend workshop we’ll be running down in Sussex soon. We conducted a test planning exercise using triangulation and scale drawing to assess the best scale to use for a churchyard. We have been lucky at St Mary’s Embsay in having a good plan already for the grave plots, but this is not available to everyone and we are aware we will probably need to make our own plans when we survey other churchyards.
Check. Double-check. ...
Speaking of which, we were pleased to make contact recently with the new project co-ordinator for the churchyard survey at Long Preston near Settle. We wish them every luck with their project and look forward to helping them in any way we can. It’s an exciting prospect to see others working on gravestones in the Dales.

And congratulations too, to Gareth and Nicole Beale for securing funding to develop their project at the University of York – “Discovering England’s Burial Spaces.” (more information at:  https://www.york.ac.uk/digital-heritage/events/debs-funding/)
Hopefully this will lead to the creation of a national database which will allow little projects like us to share our data and run comparative studies which will be meaningful on a national scale. We are genuinely excited about this project and its potential and feel very privileged to be involved.

Jane Lunnon

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