England · Graves

Thomas Harry’s gravestone tree

Author and poet Thomas Hardy, who died this day in 1928, was commissioned earlier in his life to do something with extra gravestones in the St Pancras Churchyard in London.

The outskirts of the Churchyard was scheduled for demolition to accommodate a railway. The bodies were dug up with care and respect, then moved to another cemetery. The gravestones, however, were never intended to be relocated.

Some propositioned the gravestones should be unceremoniously dumped in the Thames, but many thought it disrespectful, and so Hardy was commissioned to do something honorable with them. At this time, Hardy was not yet a full time author and was commissioned based on his five years of training in architecture.

Over the course of a year, Hardy rearranged the stones around a young tree in a circular shape. As the tree has grown over the years, the roots and trunk have filled the gaps between the stones.

Photo credit: http://oddstuffmagazine.com/a-strange-tree-of-hundreds-of-gravestones.html

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