Writer: Majorie Simmins
Photography: Andrew Herygers
Publisher: Halifax Magazine (Metro Guide Publishing)
Writer Majorie Simmins investigates Halifax's historic cemeteries and takes an in-depth look at the 250-year-old Old Burying Ground on Barrington Street, a National Historic Site.
Excerpt: The Old Burying Ground has an exceptionally rich and diverse collection of carved art on the gravestones. These include death’s-head skulls (representing mortality and penance), winged heads (signifying ascension), plus bones and skeletons (indicating decay). There is also an astrologer’s potpourri of stars, suns and moons. In order, they represent divine guidance or creation, a soul rising to heaven and rebirth. Animals, flowers, trees, anchors, birds — many symbols with many meanings, not all agreed upon by scholars. Some carved visages have an unexpected folk-art quality. Others, such as recumbent skeletons or skulls and cross-bones, verge on ghoulish.
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