Really getting real

Charles 5 Comments

When Americans decide to do things differently, it seems to me, they make a clean break. Brits, on the other hand, carry over a lot of familiar stuff from the past. I mean, how often does a natural burial ground witness a scene like this?

And which has the courage of its environmental convictions and buries at three feet?

Read the story in the Washington Post.

(Beautiful shrouds available from the UK here.)


  1. Charles

    I’ve done some ringing around nationwide and found very few natural burial grounds who have ever had a shroud burial. Tarn Moor seems to be the busiest. Why so? I asked Wendy Pratt, putting it to her that possibly the forthrightness of Yorkshire folk is a factor. It may be. Wendy also ascribes it to the way she explains options to families (she clearly empowers them),and the fact that she offers to make the shroud herself – quite a selling point.

    Factors which militate against using a shroud include the perceived high price of the Bellacouche shroud, and also the extreme reluctance of many if not most funeral directors to countenance it.

    I’ll not draw conclusions yet. Anyone else got anything to offer?

  2. Charles

    We love the Bellacouche shroud, and wish we saw more of them at our natural burial grounds. However, at a recent country show we exhibited Atkinson’s wool-covered coffin and a sample Bellacouche shroud and although they received interest from the local agricultural community, they really wanted something grittier, less arts & crafty, more earthy – a simple arrangement of woollen blankets on a pine board or stretcher. Feeling creative and industrious? I’m tempted to offer a simple design…

  3. Charles

    Ah now that’s interesting, and entirely consonant with my experience of farmers. Yes, they are far less sentimentalising about death; their experience with their stock sees to that. I’d have thought that the arts & craftsy shroud has a market among artsy, craftsy (mostly urban) folk. But farmers do like the idea of an earthy hole in a field where they’ll be grazed over. And they’d like to see some baler twine in the construction of the shroud!

    Thank you for this, James. A great insight.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>