I often drive past this little cemetery at the side of the moor road. For years I never realised it was there, as it is set back in a field and difficult to see unless you know about it.
The stones are now gradually sinking into the soft earth, and some have only their top 2 or 3 inces visible now. Soon they will be gone forever.
Unusually for a cemetery there are no flowers or vases left here – the grass is overgrown and the place has a sorry feel to it.
A few miles away is the reservoir of Thruscross, and the village of West End was abandoned in the 60’s to make way for the waters – the church was demolished and the inhabitants of the cemetery were moved to this lonely spot in a consecrated field.
My mother knew someone who lived in West End, and she used to cycle over to visit her – she remembered that most of the houses weren’t inhabited for a few years prior to the reservoir being built. The village slowly fell into decay as people moved away and no new families came.
I first mentioned this place a few years ago and I hadn’t been back since – but early one morning a couple of weeks ago I was on my way back over the moors and I passed by. The early morning sun was starting to appear, and the light was soft and kind and I went in to take some photographs.
The whole air of the place is one of sadness – one of neglect and decay. But also one of great peace. I am sure the inhabitants will sleep soundly between the moors and the great Yorkshire sky.