Rouser really digs his graveyards

ROUSER is a great frequenter of graveyards and Lewes has several fine examples. St John-sub-Castro is a place of solitude with an interesting background.

A short history of the place has this to say: ‘The present building of St John’s is comparatively modern, but the original settlement was of very ancient origin.

‘It is sited on a natural promontory overlooking the Ouse and at one time there probably existed here a small settlment of early Britons living in their round huts of wattle and mud.

‘Lewes stood at the head of an inlet of the sea and was a maritime port; the galleys of the Phoenicians and Greek traders may have ridden at anchor on the waters of the estuary.

‘Roman Imperial coins have been found in St John’s churchyard.’

There is much to see there. Rouser particularly likes the gravestone of the suitably-named Mark Sharp, a carpenter and church warden who died in 1747.

He was undoubtedly proud of his trade. Not only are his tools depicted beautifully carved on the headstone - but it was he himself, it is believed, who executed the work.

There is also a headstone that bears the representation of the resurrection of corpses.

A lovely spot.