As part of the Our Past, Our Future, Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) Landscape Partnership Scheme the New Forest National Park Archaeology Team have been working with Lyndhurst to survey the condition of, and record the monuments in St Michaels & All Angels graveyard. The survey will help accurately map and identify monuments that can be conserved using HLF funds and will ultimately create a database for ongoing management of the graveyard. The other ambition is to make the list of burials and monuments within the graveyard available to the public on this site to help people who are researching their family trees.
As well as hard graft from volunteers we have been using technology to help us reveal the secrets of Lyndhurst; Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI). The process involves taking numerous photos of one monument with a raking light and then letting the computer do the hard work to produce some amazing results. If you are interested in learning more about RTI photography you can do: here. The results produced highlighted how valuable RTI is; as the inscriptions that were once illegible have now been legible, providing a greater resource within the overall survey and documentation process. Despite this, due to deterioration of the gravestones, some gravestones could not be fully transcribed even with RTI being used.
The following inscriptions have been transcribed through RTI. From the photo’s shown, the transformation is highlighted from before and after the RTI is applied. Despite how useful RTI is, deterioration of gravestones made some gravestones difficult to transcribe and hence, total recovery of the inscriptions may not have been possible. This is evident with Grave D/E/F; if you can completely decipher the inscriptions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“In Memory of William Blampin who died in Lyndhurst December 17th 1879, Aged 11 years. I heard the of Jesus say Come unto Me and rest; Lay down, thou weary one, lay down, Thy head upon My breast. I came to Jesus as I was, Weary and worn and sad; I found in Him a resting-place, And He has made me glad. His end was Peace. Also of William Blampin The beloved son of William & Elizabeth Blampin who died at Bam.. December 10th 1879, Aged 6 months Not only … memory In memory of Ill”
“To The memory of William Hurl Who departed this life October 2nd 1840 Aged 72 years. Also of Fanny Wife of the above who departed this life December 15th 1851 Aged 66 years Their end was (?)”
“To the memory of Francis Ranger Who departed this life Dec 17th 1815. Aged 78 years Also In the memory of Ann Ranger wife of Francis Ranger who departed this life June 23rd 1810 Aged 63 years”
“Sacred To the memory of James M’Taggart ESQ
who departed this life November 7th 1851 Aged 54?
Also to … who departed this life 15th November 1889 Aged 75 years”
Survey work is ongoing at Lyndhurst and we will share all the results with you when we have them. As a result of the volunteer led survey several of the monuments have been conserved and several additional conservation projects are ongoing.
As well as Lyndhurst we have been working at the following graveyards and using RTI to reveal their secrets.