The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Wilshire, Dorsetshire, Hampshire, Sussex, and Kent in the Summer of 1832

Reading Churchyards

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In one of the Churchyards at Reading we observed very handsome and economical tombs. A space 10 ft. or 12 ft. deep is enclosed by a wall, so as to leave the interior of the size of a large coffin. This wall is carried up to the surface, where it is finished with a corniced coping one foot high of hewn stone. On this coping is placed a cover of one block of stone, with mouldings worked on it, so as to give it the appearance of the top of a sarcophagus. This cover is put on with mortar, so as to be air-tight, and is removed when interments are to take place. In this way, a family vault of almost indefinite capacity occupies very small space: but we do not recommend it; as the idea of piling one coffin on another is offensive, and every time the cover is removed there must be danger from pestilential effluvia. There is no mode of burial, in our eyes, equal to that of single graves in an open cemetery, field, or wood.