To round off our small selection of interesting memorials in Overleigh Cemetery, here is the rather beautiful effect of moss growing on an ornate tombstone, photographed- together with the previous images- by the author on a couple of sunny days in September 2008.
Many more notable Chester citizens lie here in the cemetery. One recently-restored gravestone tell of two young boys drowned in a 'deep pit' in Hoole, one while trying to save the other (we hope to be featuring this soon). There is Harry Riley Horton, a goldsmith, who died in 1893 aged 39 and is buried with his nine infant children (there is no mention of their mother). This is a rare example of a Victorian British headstone that has a photograph set in a small sealed frame, still faintly visible after 100 years. This practice is much more common throughout Europe. Also here is the unfortunate fireman John Trainer, who's son was washed overboard from the City of Berlin on 25th March 1882 aged 23 and his grandson died on board the SS Campania on 8th January 1911, also aged 23 and buried at sea. Another tombstone records a fatal hunting accident- the horse fell on barbed wire, killing its rider. The fate of the horse is unrecorded.
At the heart of the cemetery stands the memorial to Dr William Makepeace Thackery- the uncle of his more famous novelist namesake (although he spelled his name Thackeray)- the author of Vanity Fair, The Virginians, Barry Lyndon and many more. He was a doctor who worked at the Chester Royal Infirmary from its founding in the Bluecoat through to long after it was established in its own purpose-built premises. Both of these establishments are inscribed upon his stone. He is actually buried in the Cathedral, his monument is the remains the dominant feature in the centre of the cemetery.
Much of the cemetery is now heavily overgrown and the task of locating many memorials is proving difficult. (It remains, nontheless, a wonderful and evocative place that is well worth visiting). We will persevere and hope to bring you a further selection of photographs in the near future. Can you help? As with the rest of our website, your contributions and comments are always very welcome!