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Local artist Bernard Lavell has created a collection of drawings of memorials in Southampton Old Cemetery.

View the sketches gallery

In the summer of 2003 some founding members of the new 'Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery' approached 'Southampton Art Society' with a request that their members make drawings of the monuments. As I live nearby and was at that time Secretary of the Art Society I started a weekly drawing project. Sadly this project proved unpopular with many artists so when it ended in 2005 I decided to continue myself with pen and ink sketches.

I have always enjoyed visiting and sketching old churches and headstones and these appear in many of my drawings from as far back as the 1950's. My interest stems primarily from early visits to local cemeteries accompanied by my very Victorian Grandmother, both in my home town of Pudsey in Yorkshire, to Lawnswood in Leeds and other towns of the country and on the Continent, settling in Southampton in 1987.

In these drawings I try to convey both the strange beauty of the memorials together with the memories of the deceased shown in the inscriptions and epitaphs; all of this surrounded by the wide variety of plants and trees which give the Old Cemetery some of its sense of mystery and adventure.