The Devil’s Acre

Not referring to the slum next to Westminster Abbey named by William Shakespeare. I refer to the final resting place of the damned.

When shopping for real estate gardens with a south facing view are in the highest of demands. South aspects are bathed in warm natural light from sun up to sun down whereas East and West are granted only half the day each. A northern facing garden is forever cast in the shadow of the house it surrounds. A perpetually cold and dark area that is not inviting or hospitable, with little fauna or flora calling it home.

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The north side of a graveyard is just the same. In English tradition this is where the bodies of the unbaptised, suicides and ex communicated soles were laid to rest. As afflicted were mostly poor their burials go unmarked and thus trodden on by passers by and forgotten by all but living memory. There are those few rare graves that were lucky enough to be marked with the deceased families or the church taking pity on the unfortunate.

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For the soles that are destined to fall straight to hell because of the sins incurred on earth, at least their bodies and surviving families can be remembered with at least a quantum of respect. Being buried in The Devil’s Acre will not ensure the soles are guaranteed acceptance into heaven but a burial within the grounds of the church will hopefully give them a better chance.

 

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