Tag: Joni Scott Author

Whispers through Time – The Hardy Tree

Whispers through Time – The Hardy Tree

This lovely shady tree has stood in the Old St Pancras churchyard for over a century. It whispers through time of the many comings and goings in this ancient graveyard in the once secluded corner of London. The Hardy Tree, an ash tree, is unique as it is literally encircled by gravestones piled one on another. Most interestingly, Thomas Hardy the famous British novelist placed them there in 1865. Years before he became known for his tragic literary masterpieces and poetry, Hardy worked as an apprentice for an architect who had the contract to clear the cemetery to allow extension of the London railways. Nothing stopped progress during the Industrial Revolution in Britain, not even centuries of graves! You don’t always get to rest in peace.
Despite his qualifications as an architect, the grisly task of upending and emptying graves fell to the young Thomas Hardy and possibly others. In an artistic moment, Hardy decided to pile the gravestones around the huge ash tree and that is where they have remained all these years. The disinterred bodies were disrespectfully hauled onto wagons and moved to a mass grave in a new cemetery outside London.
While researching my family history, I discovered these fascinating facts about the Old St. Pancras church where my maternal ancestors were baptized and married. As a book nerd and huge teenage fan of Thomas Hardy novels (I named my daughter Tess after the tragic heroine of Tess of the d’Urbervilles) I decided to use the setting for the opening chapters of my Edwardian historical romance novel, Whispers through Time.

International purchases https://www.austinmacauley.com/author/scott-joni

 

 

Source:atlasobscura.com