Not only was the church/meeting house located in the center of the Ring of the Green, but also the burial ground for the community. Stones in the cemetery date back to 1658. The oldest one, that of William Carpenter, is simply marked with his initials and the year of his death. Below are some examples of typical head stones you will find.
The designs of the stone carvings allow you to trace three distinct periods of mortuary art. The oldest ones, depicting death and decay, date generally to before 1790 and show grimacing skulls and wings.
As the people’s attitude about life and the afterlife changes and takes a more positive turn, the carvings change to sweet cherubs and angel wings. Most of these graves date to between 1760 and 1810.
From the late 1700s until about 1830 the carvings show various designs; simple urns or vases, geometric designs, weeping willow trees, the family coat-of-arms, or any combination of them.