Sadly, Utterly Abandoned Churches & Cemeteries

Neglected and abandoned graveyards can be found everywhere in the world. Headstones as lost and forgotten as the lives they were set to remember. Churches whose once devout congregations have dwindled to nothing, leaving their houses of worship to waste away into nothingness, eventually to be swallowed up by the earth from which they sprang. It’s really quite sad.

Church in Louisianna by Rick Galvan on Flickr

Church in Louisianna by Rick Galvan on Flickr

Forlorn Cross in Louisianna Cemetery by Rick Galvan on Flickr

Forlorn Cross in Louisianna Cemetery by Rick Galvan on Flickr

Bayside - Acacia Cemetery, Queens, NY by H.L.I.T. on Flickr

Bayside – Acacia Cemetery, Queens, NY by H.L.I.T. on Flickr

Gates to the abandoned All Saints Cemetery in Plavsk, Russia. Photo by A.Savin on Wikimedia Commons

Gates to the abandoned All Saints Cemetery in Plavsk, Russia. Photo by A.Savin on Wikimedia Commons

Abandoned All Saints Cemetery in Plavsk, Russia. Old graves. by A.Savin on Wikimedia Commons

Abandoned All Saints Cemetery in Plavsk, Russia. Old graves. by A.Savin on Wikimedia Commons

Abandoned All Saints Cemetery in Plavsk, Russia. Old graves. by A.Savin on Wikimedia Commons

Abandoned All Saints Cemetery in Plavsk, Russia. Old graves. by A.Savin on Wikimedia Commons

Llanreithan Church -  Disused and abandoned in its churchyard adjoining Llanreithan House, all trace of its medieval origins were lost in Victorian restoration (1862). A foundation stone dated 1493 that was discovered during the rebuilding has subsequently vanished too and all that remains from earlier times is a cross-shaped stone set in the altar. I wish there was a picture of that. Cool nonetheless. Photo by ceridwen on Geograph.org.uk found on Wikimedia Commons.

Llanreithan Church – Disused and abandoned in its churchyard adjoining Llanreithan House, all trace of its medieval origins were lost in Victorian restoration (1862). A foundation stone dated 1493 that was discovered during the rebuilding has subsequently vanished too and all that remains from earlier times is a cross-shaped stone set in the altar. I wish there was a picture of that. Cool nonetheless. Photo by ceridwen on Geograph.org.uk found on Wikimedia Commons.

Tintern Abbey, near to Chapel Hill, Monmouthshire/Sir Fynwy, Great Britain - Photo by Gareth James on Geograph.uk.org

Tintern Abbey, near to Chapel Hill, Monmouthshire/Sir Fynwy, Great Britain – Photo by Gareth James on Geograph.org.uk

St. Mary the Virgin church burial ground  near to Chapel Hill, Monmouthshire/Sir Fynwy, Great Britain, has been associated with the Tintern Abbey since 12th Century, is maintained by volunteers from the Parish Church of St Michael and all Angels (situated on the river Wye bank at Tintern Parva) and by those who tend family graves. It appears to me no one has tended these for awhile. Photo copyright Alby on Geograph.uk.org.

St. Mary the Virgin church burial ground
near to Chapel Hill, Monmouthshire/Sir Fynwy, Great Britain, has been associated with the Tintern Abbey
since 12th Century, is maintained by volunteers from the Parish Church of St Michael and all Angels (situated on
the river Wye bank at Tintern Parva) and by those who tend family graves. It appears to me no one has tended these for awhile. Photo copyright Alby on Geograph.org.uk.

Ruined church, Llanbedr D.C. The ruined medieval church next to Llanbedr Hall, first recorded in 1254, was abandoned when the Victorian church in the modern village of Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd was built. Photo by Eirian Evans on Geograph.org.uk - Wikimedia Commons

Ruined church, Llanbedr D.C. The ruined medieval church next to Llanbedr Hall, first recorded in 1254, was abandoned when the Victorian church in the modern village of Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd was built. Photo by Eirian Evans on Geograph.org.uk – Wikimedia Commons

A small, abandoned cemetery next to the ruins of St Catherine's Chapel, in Lydiate, Merseyside, England. The cemetery was in use until the latter 1800s. by Home-town Hero on Wikimedia Commons

A small, abandoned cemetery next to the ruins of St Catherine’s Chapel, in Lydiate, Merseyside, England. The cemetery was in use until the latter 1800s. by Home-town Hero on Wikimedia Commons

Bladen County abandoned church along NC Highway 20 between Tar Heel and St. Pauls, North Carolina. Photo by Gerry Dincher on flickr.

Bladen County abandoned church along NC Highway 20 between Tar Heel and St. Pauls, North Carolina. Photo by Gerry Dincher on flickr.

Single grave in the field by a village in Bulgaria. How sad. :-(  Photo by Alexandar Stamboliyski on Images of Bularia.

Single grave in the field by a village in Bulgaria. How sad. 😦 Photo by Alexandar Stamboliyski on Images of Bularia.

Abandoned church in Dickens, Nebraska. Photo by Ammodramus on Wikimedia Commons

Abandoned church in Dickens, Nebraska. Photo by Ammodramus on Wikimedia Commons

Off McIntyre Road, Lycoming County, within the McIntyre Wild Area of Loyalsock State Forest. The cemetery is a remnant of the long-abandoned coal-mining town of McIntyre. Aside from the cemetery, little evidence of the town remains, and the area has largely reverted to wilderness. by Nicholas Tonelli on flickr.

Off McIntyre Road, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, within the McIntyre Wild Area of Loyalsock State Forest.
The cemetery is a remnant of the long-abandoned coal-mining town of McIntyre. Aside from the cemetery, little evidence of the town remains, and the area has largely reverted to wilderness. by Nicholas Tonelli on flickr.

Abandoned christian [Presbyterian] church, Taiban, New Mexico. Photo by Emma on Wikimedia Commons.

Abandoned christian [Presbyterian] church, Taiban, New Mexico. Photo by Emma on Wikimedia Commons.

Abandoned Church near to St. Colmac, ARgyll And Bute, Great Britain. Photo by Nicholas Mutton on Geograph.org.uk.

Abandoned Church near to St. Colmac, ARgyll And Bute, Great Britain. Photo by Nicholas Mutton on Geograph.org.uk.

Bayside - Acacia Cemetery Gate, Queens, NY by H.L.I.T. on Flickr

Bayside – Acacia Cemetery Gate, Queens, NY by H.L.I.T. on Flickr

I love the details on what's left of this gate. It's hard to understand how a graveyard that seems to have some not too worn out headstones could become so derelict. Bayside - Acacia Cemetery, Queens, NY by H.L.I.T. on Flickr

I love the details on what’s left of this gate. It’s hard to understand how a graveyard that seems to have some not too worn out headstones could become so derelict. Bayside – Acacia Cemetery, Queens, NY by H.L.I.T. on Flickr

More lost and forgotten tombstones at the Acacia Cemetery, Queens, NY by H.L.I.T. on Flickr

More lost and forgotten tombstones at the Acacia Cemetery, Queens, NY by H.L.I.T. on Flickr. Entire set of images from this graveyard.

I was heartened to see this bus load of volunteers preparing to clean up the graveyard! Acacia Cemetery, Queens, NY by H.L.I.T. on flickr.

I was heartened to see this bus load of volunteers preparing to clean up the graveyard! Acacia Cemetery, Queens, NY by H.L.I.T. on flickr.

Abandoned church, Cruise Hill near to Ham Green, Worcestershire, Great Britain. Older maps show this building on the inside of the sharp bend in Cruise Hill lane as a church although today it looks forlorn and abandoned. Photo by David Stowell  on Geograph.org.uk

Abandoned church, Cruise Hill near to Ham Green, Worcestershire, Great Britain. Older maps show this building on the inside of the sharp bend in Cruise Hill lane as a church although today it looks forlorn and abandoned. Photo by David Stowell on Geograph.org.uk

Abandoned church and gravestones near to Longhorsley, Northumberland, Great Britain. Photo by Antonia on Geograph.org.uk

Abandoned church and gravestones near to Longhorsley, Northumberland, Great Britain. Photo by Antonia on Geograph.org.uk

An abandoned church in a Vietnamese refugee camp on a deserted island in Malaysia. Photo by HENG FU MING on Wikimedia Commons

An abandoned church in a Vietnamese refugee camp on a deserted island in Malaysia. Photo by HENG FU MING on Wikimedia Commons

Grave monument of abandoned Schmelz cemetery in Langmaisgasse, Vienna's 15th district. Photo by Wolfgang Glock on Wikimedia Commons

Grave monument of abandoned Schmelz cemetery in Langmaisgasse, Vienna’s 15th district. Photo by Wolfgang Glock on Wikimedia Commons

Abandoned graves at the old cemetery at the Sanctuary of Sacromonte, Amecameca, Mexico State. Photo by AlejandroLinaresGarcia on Wikimedia Commons

Abandoned graves at the old cemetery at the Sanctuary of Sacromonte, Amecameca, Mexico State. Photo by AlejandroLinaresGarcia on Wikimedia Commons

I'm torn about sharing this comments the photographer posted about this church. I want to tell it, but it's his creepy/entertaining story to tell. ;-) Warleggan Church from the grave yard near to Warleggan, Cornwall, Great Britain. Photo Copyright Roger Geach

I’m torn about sharing the comments the photographer posted about this church. I want to tell it, but it’s his creepy/entertaining story to tell. Suffice it to say, if you’ve read Daphne du Maurier’s “Vanishing Cornwall” then you know all about it. 😉 Warleggan Church from the grave yard near to Warleggan, Cornwall, Great Britain. Photo Copyright Roger Geach

The heart-breaking Duffy's Cut Mass Grave, Philadelphia, PA. Photo by Parabat4868 on Flickr.

The heart-breaking Duffy’s Cut Mass Grave, Philadelphia, PA. Photo by Parabat4868 on Flickr.

Rodney Cemetery, Rodney (Jefferson County), Mississippi. Photo by Natalie Maynor on Flickr.

Rodney Cemetery, Rodney (Jefferson County), Mississippi. Photo by Natalie Maynor on Flickr.

Fragment of dug-in grave at the abandoned Jewish cemetery in Český Těšín (Czeski Cieszyn). Photo by Darwinek on Wikimedia Commons.

Fragment of dug-in grave at the abandoned Jewish cemetery in Český Těšín (Czeski Cieszyn). Photo by Darwinek on Wikimedia Commons.

Creepy Headstones at St Peter & St Paul's Church There are a number of unusual headstones within the graveyard, however these two from the 1700's stood out somewhat. The right stone of a Nicholas Spurgen, died at 66 years, and his wife Bridget who died at 86 years old, quite an achievement for those times. The left stone of their daughter Liz who died at only 25 years old.  Photo by Oast House Archive on Geograph.org.uk

Creepy Headstones at St Peter & St Paul’s Church There are a number of unusual headstones within the graveyard, however these two from the 1700’s stood out somewhat.
The right stone of a Nicholas Spurgen, died at 66 years, and his wife Bridget who died at 86 years old, quite an achievement for those times.
The left stone of their daughter Liz who died at only 25 years old. Photo by Oast House Archive on Geograph.org.uk

I could keep going and going, there are so many beautiful images on the net. I had to stop somewhere and the above grave markers are so terribly creepy, yet interesting. A good image with which to leave you.

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28 thoughts on “Sadly, Utterly Abandoned Churches & Cemeteries

  1. It always makes me so sad to see old headstones, especially when they are so worn away you can’t tell who is buried there. Once there was someone who was devastated by the loss, and now no one even knows or cares who is buried there.

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    • Thank you for visiting!

      I know. I spent many years going to each cemetery where my family/ancestors are buried and took pictures of each headstone. If I couldn’t read it, I took a stiff brush to it then poured water on it so the letters would stand out. I’ve also taken paper and used the side of a pencil lead to make an impression.

      You can find many genealogists and historians putting cemetery records online now. I love those people who care enough to spend hours upon hours doing this!

      Like

  2. My brother recommended I would possibly like this web site. He was once entirely right. This put up truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how a lot time I had spent for this info! Thanks!|

    Like

  3. Excuse me for misspelling your name. Would like to see more churches with their history. I believe the graves from long ago, especially the creepy ones, were not taken care of because all of their loved ones probably died off. Thanks again

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  4. Hi, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.

    When I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
    it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, excellent blog!

    Like

  5. Pingback: Creepy & Fascinating Graveyards Just in Time for Halloween! | Lis'Anne Harris

  6. Hi Lucy, I love your web page. I came here by accident, as I was researching information about a long abandon rural church in my neck of the woods. I can’t help but wonder about the Acacia Cemetery in Queens. I noticed that a few plots were dated only a decade or so ago. Any word on why the Jewish Cemetery is so ill kept? I am just curious.

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      • No worries on the name! 🙂 I have no idea why that cemetery is derelict and looks abandoned. The cemeteries where I’m from are administered to by the township trustee who is either appointed or voted into office. They usually hire someone to care for, sell plots, and arrange for burials in the cemeteries within their jurisdiction. When a cemetery is full, I would imagine the care should still fall to the county, parish, or city in which it sits. Maybe the city/county doesn’t have the money for upkeep.

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  7. Thanks for this. I came here from google when I searched for ‘forgotten graveyards’. I was melancholically considering how most people are forgotten after a couple of generations, no matter how much the loss of someone meant at the time.
    There are some town graveyards that are professionally maintained, of course, but as can be seen in these pics there are many that are just forgotten they even exist.
    I often think about people who lived lives, had hopes and dreams, loved and were loved, and except for the resurrection to come for some there is now nothing and everything they did is totally forgotten.

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    • You’re right and it’s sad. I hate that after a generation–and sometimes not even that long–graves are ignored and forgotten by family members. It’s doubly sad when a deceased person died alone and without any family to care.

      I took the time to comb as many cemeteries as I could in the areas where my ancestors settled in my home state and took pictures so I could find them again and leave a record for future generations. Some day I hope to travel to the places from whence they came and make a record of those grave sites, too.

      I love http://findagrave.org/ and all those volunteers are doing to help families find their lost and forgotten ancestors in cemeteries across the U.S.

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  8. Someone just tweeted out something about abandoned cemeteries on Twitter, and when I couldn’t find the tweet, I Googled it and your blog popped up! 🙂 Amazing, and sad, pictures. I pass a small cemetery on my way to/from work everyday, and have actually made a point of stopping in to take pictures, and recording the names. I’m so far away from the final resting places of my own ancestors, I sort of visit their graves by proxy.

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  9. Hey D.D.! Glad you found me here. 🙂 I’m so thankful for all those around the world who love abandoned stuff as much as I do. I’d love to see the pics you took of the cemetery–you should upload them to your site. You can also share them on findagrave.com for long lost family members to maybe connect with their ancestors. 🙂

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  10. I live not too far from Ham Green Worcestershire, the Chapel on the bend was used to transport the bodies of the dead by horse and cart to nearby Feckenham Church, along an ancient burial track that today is used as a bridleway, today the road is actually called Burial Lane after this ancient burial path-
    http://www.leyhunter.com/archives/fecken.htm

    I hope that one day the residents realise the significance of this place and will get the chapel listed and properly restored. Its part of the rich and varied history of Worcestershire

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    • What a cool history! I hope the peoples of Worcestershire come together and restore the building so that its historical significance won’t be lost and forgotten. It looks like it’s not too far gone. Thank you so much for coming here and sharing with us, Kai!

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  11. Lis’Anne – I found out yesterday that my grandfather was buried at Bayside/Acacia in 1910 and I have just started to try finding out about it. The pictures and stories on the website are chilling. The cemetery promised to tell me what they find in records when I call back tomorrow. I have my doubts after seeing your photos. But, I’m not giving up the search. This is just the beginning. Thanks for caring enough to post that material.

    Like

    • I hope you found the records of your grandfather, Mark! I have hope that the clean-up and restoration of the graves continued on and people can easily find the final resting places of their ancestors. Let us know if your hunt was successful! Perhaps people have started uploading pictures and information from Bayside/Acacia on http://findagrave.com

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    • Sad thought, Sven. There’s something so poignant about abandoned things and places, but there’s also something very joyous and uplifting about the sweet cry of a newborn baby, the perfect petals of flowers in spring, the first blanket of snow in winter. I’m glad I brought three new souls into this world. They give me hope that this planet will always be filled with beautiful humans and happy tomorrows. 😊

      Like

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