A fashion to mark of either individual grave plots or family plots with low stone walls or curbs toped with cast iron railings became popular in the victorian period. These railings are often thought to have been to protect the graves from 'grave robbers', however a lot of them tend to be to low to prevent total access to the plot and also a number also have gates in them. They are more a means of defining the individual plot.


Some railings are basic in design, but there are others that are based on architectural designs such as gothic window tracery design.  Other railings are based on symbolism, either relating to the persons country of origin or to their trade or profession.


A large number of these railings were taken for scrap during the 2nd World War. Since the war a number of local authorities have 'tidyed up' churchyards and cemetries and removed the railings to make the cutting of grass easier. Theefore it tends to be the smaller graveyards and the remoter ones in which they have survived.


To date I have found no references to companies that produced these railings. None studied so far have a makers name cast into them.






 A series of moulds for the tops of railings. Castle underpass/Tullie House Museum, Carlisle. The foundry from which they came is not stated. 






A plot surrounded by tall basic railings, Lismore parish church.






A plot surrounded by low basic railings, Note the gate to allow access. Lismore parish church.







Very low set of railings with some degree of architectural design, Lismore parish church.








Another set of low ornate railings. Lismore parish church.






A very simple set of railings marking the grave. St. Peters church, Glenelg.





Very ornate railings with various leaf motifs and thistle finials.  Lismore parish church.






Ornate railings with leaves and thistles and thistle finials. Lismore parish church.





Post and chains around grave. rthe posts are in the shspe of anchors. Grave to Dorothy Hay Stewart Crightin wife of William Howat Master mariner died April 1879.  St Michael's churchyard, Dumfries.




Tall railings around a plot at Castle Carrock churchyard. William Watson died June 1887.



 Low ornate railings Castle Carrokc churchyard john Walton died 1871.

The use of burial enclosures for families with stone rounds them are common especially in Scotland. Some of these enclosures still have very ornate cast iron or wrought iron gates.

cast iron gate


A very ornate gate on a burial enclosure at old church of Assynt, Inchnadamph.