A grave affair

To family historians, finding the grave belonging to an ancestor is a remarkable and often emotional experience. But as the years pass and the elements do their worst, the inscriptions become all but invisible.

Fortunately local volunteers are painstakingly recording what there is, but in some cases they’re too late.
In the churchyard of St Michael the Archangel at Lyme Regis, the graves and headstones lurch at precarious angles, hanging on to the unstable land. Their position atop the cliff is breathtaking and offers visitors a wonderful view. Exploring the graves is just as exhilarating.

Fortunately the headstones have been transcribed, but there are still plenty of gaps to fill.

A curious grave is tucked in close to the church; it now rests at an odd angle. Even odder is the stone egg-like object beside it.

The local historians record the grave as belonging to a Bennett – but nothing more is known.
What a shame that this memorial has become little more than a curiosity to passing tourists. But to those with an imagination, perhaps Mr Bennett was an early explorer and this egg paid tribute to journeys abroad where he returned with knowledge of new birds. Was he a follower of Darwin and chose Lyme as his home to study the fossils?

We will never know.