Halloween in Caldecote

Halloween cardHalloween.   October 31st.  There are some families in Australia  who have good reason to pass on their ancestral Halloween traditions to their children while the Christian community celebrates October 31st  it in its own way as All Hallows Eve.

Usually it is a most unremarkable day in Australia.

But in other parts of the world  it is a time for  black cats, bats and spiders,  ghosts, skeletons, witches and wizards;  or pumpkins,  cobwebs, haunted houses  and graveyards

So this Halloween let us glide over to the  graveyard at The Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Caldecote, Huntingdonshire, a few miles south of Peterborough.

Caldecote-Church The church has now been converted into a private residence after having been de-consecrated in the mid 1970s  and the headstones  have been stacked against the church wall the last time I heard.


Photo from Michael Trolove

Perhaps the ghosts rise up on the night  of October 31st to protest at having been disturbed.  There might even be some Tanseys and some Lawsons among them.  A perfect setting for all things supernatural.

Headstone Thomas Rebecca tanseyThis lonely church  is where my  grandfather’s grandparents, Thomas Tansey and Rebecca Lawson, were  married in 1834  Later they were buried  there  after all twelve of their children were christened there and five of their children  buried there.

Thomas-Reb-Marr-CertThere are three different spellings for the same person’s surname.  Thomas signs Tanser, the Curate writes Tansor and the headstone says Tansey.

But when Thomas was born in 1813 in Whittlesey to the east of Peterborough he was christened as Tansey.  That was the year that Richard Wagner was born, Napoleon invaded Russia and the USA declared war on the UK, a war which lasted 2 years

Further links to the colourful Halloween card can be seen at this week’s Sepia Saturday post



11 thoughts on “Halloween in Caldecote

  1. Wendy

    Several neighbors have constructed graveyards in their front yards for Halloween. Your somewhat overgrown cemetery has a bit of a Halloween vibe, I suppose, but I like it and would gladly strole the growns and read the tombstones. Your ancestor’s stone is so full of character.


  2. K

    Beautiful pictures, but dismayed that the stones were all moved. One old cemetery I visited with family interred there had a bunch of stones propped up against a tree. They had fallen over or broken, but the others remained in place. Something makes me want to find the location and connect to it.


  3. La Nightingail

    It’s too bad the new inhabitants of the old church didn’t see fit to preserve the old graveyard. They could have planted flowers and made a pretty garden of it. I wonder if they gave the families of those buried there the opportunity to remove their relatives to another location?


  4. Lauren

    Hello Lazycoffees,
    I stumbled across your blog whilst undertaking some research on Tilly Aston and her siblings’ descendants. I understand from your blog that you have a connection with the Aston family. I’m working on a project relating to Tilly specifically (given that it’s in its early stages, I don’t want to write too much about it here.) If possible, I’d love to get in touch with some of Tilly’s relatives about the project, and was wondering if you might be able to assist. What would be the best way to get in touch with you?
    Kind regards,
    Lauren Hayes



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