I have a somewhat odd fascination with churches and churchyards. I am not remotely interested in the religious aspects, but I find the architecture of the buildings, the craftsmanship that goes into the exteriors and interiors, the feeling of peace inside and the nature and history that can be gleaned from the headstones in very old cemeteries very appealing.
I have visited the Barnoon cemetery before, but could not find one particular grave I was looking for – that of the artist Alfred Wallis (18 August 1855 – 29 August 1942) – who was a Cornish fisherman and artist in his latter years. His paintings are an excellent example of naïve art; perspective is ignored and an object’s scale is often based on its relative importance in the scene. I can’t say that I am a fan of it. Wallis sold few paintings and continued to live in poverty until he died in the Madron workhouse near Penzance. He is buried in Barnoon cemetery, overlooking St Ives Porthmeor beach and the Tate St Ives gallery. An elaborate gravestone, depicting a tiny mariner at the foot of a huge lighthouse – a popular motif in Wallis’ paintings – was made from tiles by the potter Bernard Leach and covers Wallis’ tomb. Source: Wikipedia
Last week I spent over an hour in freezing cold temperatures thoroughly searching the cemetery and finally discovered it! I also took one or two other photos of headstones that I found particularly eye-catching.
There are several Celtic crosses naturally, but several different designs.
And the view over Porthmeor beach and the island where St Nicholas’s chapel sits in isolation at the top, providing an excellent spot to look out over the beaches and town.