An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

June 1, 2008

Lower Surry Church - Surry County Day Trip Pt. II

The ruins of Lower Surry Church are in the town (more of a crossroads actually) of Bacon's Castle, and it is a relic from the very early part of Virginia's history, but I couldn't find a whole lot of information on it, perhaps nothing historical took place here. There is a marble tablet on the side of the building that dates the church to 1639, and says it was burned in 1868. Why is it that people use the word "burned" instead of "caught fire" or "destroyed by fire"? "Burned" lends implications that it may have been done on purpose. Even though the church was destroyed so long ago, people continue to bury their dead there. Years ago before my wife and I were married, we stopped here to poke around. Back then more of the ruins still existed and you could see most of the window and door openings. There were many ancient trees growing in the shady graveyard, and even inside the church. My wife took at least a roll of film on the moss covered bricks and the headstones.

Unfortunately, Hurricane Isabel took a heavy toll on the old place. Most of the old trees came down, taking brick and mortar with them; its whole character was changed. Instead of a shady quit glade, it is now exposed and open to the passing traffic. This does make it easier to notice that there are actually two graveyards separated by a chain-link fence. The black graveyard is on one side, and the white on the other. The fence is not old, and I find it perplexing in 2008 that people still feel it necessary to keep the races separate. Do the spirits respect the fence when they roam on special nights?

Boxwoods in life, boxwoods in death.

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