Throughout history people have perpetuated the memory of the dead by constructing stone monuments. The majority of early tombs honour great men, but by the 17th and 18th centuries the humble as well as the rich and powerful sought to express their love and grief by the erection of a suitably inscribed and decorated memorial, made by a local craftsman from native stone.
Frederick Burgess describes the origin and development of the churchyard and analyses the different types of monument and ornamentation of each period. He examines the symbolism and lettering and concludes with a section about stonemasons themselves, their training and their methods. He also includes an appendix on epitaphs.
This book is an invaluable guide to the historian, the antiquarian, the art historian, and the clergy. Above all, the general reader will find it of absorbing interest, as will those who enjoy exploring the countryside and visiting ancient churches.