BOOK SURREY HOTELS

Join in

Send page to a friend

3983 views since 11th March 2011

Related links:

Events | Lore & Legend | Rather Interesting | Cultural Britain

Featured Destination

November 2019: A West Country Christmas – Dorset in December

Thomas Hardy’s celebration of Christmas in Dorset in his early novel Under the Greenwood Tree is perhaps second only to A Christmas Carol (a version ...More
More Uk destinations

Inspecting the Gibson Tomb, Surrey

The modern fashion for cremation has meant that fears of being buried alive have become somewhat redundant. But in former days this was a concern in the back of many minds, especially the old. For the story of a folk custom associated with one who escaped just such a fate, see our entry on Old Man's Day , a custom that takes place at Braughing in Hertfordshire .
Mary Gibson took a rather odd view of the potential danger. She had a family tomb erected at St Nicholas Church in Sutton in 1777, her father James, a man who had a wonderfully varied career - wine merchant, distiller, sailor, master of the Ironmongers' Company - was buried there before her.
Mary died in 1793, and under the terms of her will (with money left to Christ's Hospital to guarantee the continuance of her wishes) the tomb is unlocked and inspected every August 12 , with a certain amount of ceremonial attaching to the event. Quite what she expected the church officials to find on opening the mausoleum is unclear; and with the annual event still taking place some two centuries and more after her death, it seems unlikely she will be found to have recovered. They are also charged with making any necessary repairs to the stone building topped with a steep pyramid, however, and that duty seems rather more likely to require their attention.

More British Folk Customs?

If you like this, Share it

Brit Quote:
It was easier to conquer it than to know what to do with it. - Horace Walpole
More Quotes

On this day:
Blackbeard Killed - 1718, Assassination of President Kennedy - 1963, Beatles Release White Album - 1968, Cairngorm Climbing Tragedy - 1971, Margaret Thatcher Resigns - 1990, Rose West Sentenced - 1995, England win Rugby World Cup - 2003
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages