Here Lies Alfred

IMG_8657Yesterday we were back at Hever Castle, and alongside the Castle’s grounds stands St Peter’s Church. The church dates back to the 14th century and is the final resting place of Sir Thomas Boleyn who lived at Hever Castle in the early 16th century. His daughter Anne, who grew up there, became the second wife of Henry VIII, and she was also the mother of Queen Elizabeth I. Hever, therefore, has a huge association with history. Much later it became the home of William Waldorf Astor.

What attracted me more than the church was the graveyard, grown wild. Grasses grew waist high, hiding most of the graves, but a handful of crosses and headstones rose above the undergrowth. There was contrast between the bleached out seeds of the grass and the darkened weathered stones. I immediately thought: this would look good in B&W. To get the shot I had imagined, I had to raise the Canon G10 at arms length above my head and shoot blindly (one of those occasions when I wished I was six foot six tall). Nik’s Silver Efex delivered the goods.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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16 Responses to Here Lies Alfred

  1. Great image Andy. There’s something about these old tombstones in black & white.

  2. alan frost says:

    Graveyards always appeal to me and this works well in mono. The fact they are often overgrown at this time of year adds further interest. Alan.

  3. Chillbrook says:

    This is a smashing shot Andy. The black and white really does lend itself to the scene. I love the juxtaposition of the three crosses and the single headstone. Shooting blindly and coming up with such a compelling composition can’t have been easy.

    • LensScaper says:

      I got this right with the second attempt – fluked it! The time was spent working out the best composition first – not something I always do but it paid off here. Many thanks Adrian.

  4. Leanne Cole says:

    Hard to fathom a place being that old, we don’t have anything like that here, and wow the history is incredible.

    • LensScaper says:

      This is a place laden with History, and despite all that is written and known I always feel that I never get to feel what it was really like to live there – we can never grasp that entirely. Many thanks for commenting Leanne.

  5. hmunro says:

    Lucky you — it’s been ages since I visited Hever, but I still remember how photogenic it was. I don’t recall visiting this graveyard, though, so it’s a pleasure to see it through your eyes. The untended tombs are quite a contrast to the grand castle and manicured grounds, aren’t they? It strikes me as a bit sad that the people who helped build this place should lie here, apparently neglected or even forgotten. But it does make for a beautiful photo. 🙂 Nicely seen, Andy.

    • LensScaper says:

      Many thanks Heather. I never really got a proper look at the inside of the church but Sir Thomas Boleyn is buried in there somewhere. The castle grounds are superbly well kept with some amazing Topiary on display. We will back there in ten days – my daughter is getting married there. We are just hoping that the ghastly wet weather that has dominated June will be gone by then.

  6. ShimonZ says:

    Easier than growing the needed inches is buying a camera that has an articulated screen. Just for such shots!

  7. shoreacres says:

    Well! Shimon just suggested a use for my camera’s articulated screen I never had thought of. Even without it, you’ve managed a splendid photo. I never would have thought of shooting blind, either, but why not? With just a little thought, there’s no reason it can’t work very well, as it did here.

    Once I sort through the photos, I’m going to be doing a couple of posts of the wildflower-laden cemeteries in Galveston, that you’ll surely like: for the history, if nothing else. No black and white for them, though. The color was just amazing.

    Best wishes to your daughter and her intended, and also to you. Weddings are wonderful occasions that always occasion excitement and nerves beforehand, and a certain degree of relief after. I hope all goes well!

    • LensScaper says:

      Many thanks for your comments and good wishes, Linda, they are much appreciated. My next compact camera will definitely have an articulated screen. I look forward to seeing your wildflower images. I don’t expect I will have much time in the coming week to post images but I will certainly make some time to keep up with what others post, including your good self.

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