5 Centuries of Rest

A near 500 year old gravestone in the small village of Arncliffe.
A near 500 year old gravestone in the small village of Arncliffe.

Whilst wandering around the graveyard of St Oswald’s Church in the Dales village of Arncliffe I spotted this lichen infused headstone — the oldest I’ve seen in the entire region so far. It seems to have been etched with some variant of Lombardic Capitals and, though the limestone has weathered the inscription making it difficult to trace, from what I can tell it reads thus:

WILLIAM BOLTON
DIED JULY 30TH 1552
AGED ?? YEARS

I can’t make out the age at all, but given the date, it’s remarkable that the text has survived the inclement Yorkshire weather to be as legible as it is, carved while the world was still in the Age of Discovery, predating the reign of Elizabeth I, the Industrial Revolution, the formation of the United States — a whirlwind of history, yet from its quiet, rural location I bet not much has changed from its perspective. Here in the Dales, things move at a somewhat more glacial pace.

Previous
Next