steepholm (steepholm) wrote,


This lunchtime I went to buy my piece of Bristol Blue Glass from the company's new factory and shop. This turns out to be just over the road from Arnos Vale Cemetery - so, naturally, I went in.

Arnos Vale is Bristol's most famous cemetery, full of outlandish obelisks and chapels. For much of my time in Bristol it was falling into picturesque ruin, but in the last few years it has been restored by volunteers and is now as thrusting and dynamic a cemetery as you could hope to see, with sinuous walks and vistas, a cafe and a shop. Why, they're even doing an open-air production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead there later this month - genius!


This last is the tomb of the Bengali reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy, who has no particular connection with Bristol except that he happened to catch meningitis here and die. He was rewarded with a handsome tomb, all the same.

I like the cemetery the way it is now. The trouble is, I liked it more when it was overgrown and falling to pieces. Witness, in particular, the transformation that has overtaken my twisty angel.

Arnos Angel


Is this really a change for the better? I'm far from certain. Of course, its previous quaint decrepitude would eventually have degraded further, into vandalism, faceless stone, sans everything. But that fragility too was part of its appeal.

Meanwhile, I'm a sucker for cobalt...

Omiyage desu
Tags: bristol, real life
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