The grave of Sarah Jane Rees stands in a prominent position at the very back of St. Cranog’s churchyard in Llangrannog, right in the centre of the village. Between Aberystwyth and Cardigan, down a steep hill from the busy A487 the village looks out at the sea. Hers is an imposing tomb topped by a black urn, a symbol in Victorian graveyards of generosity, which is so appropriate for a woman who gave so much to others. Now she looks down towards the narrow little streets like a benevolent teacher, which is, of course, what she was.
The inscription is, quite rightly, in Welsh. It reads
She stood on her own amongst the women and wives of the nation in genius and talent.
Her character was without blemish and she lectured, preached and wrote for over 50 years.
The story of Sarah Jane Rees, a remarkable woman, is one of the stories in my new book, Grave Tales of Wales, which was published by Cambria in July 2021. The book explores the stories represented by thirty gravestones from across the whole of Wales, from Anglesey to Cardiff, from Llangrannog to Newport.
The stories are about the surprising lives of the people who still lie beneath those stones, who still lie beneath your feet, and who still have something to say.
There are stories of anguish and sorrow, stories of courage and achievement and these tales from the past that can still speak to us today. There are great events here – the Titanic, the sinking of The Royal Charter, the execution of a King, the exploration of the Antarctic – but there are also terrible murders and tragic deaths.
Through these graves you can explore fascinating and sometimes unexpected stories from Welsh History
The book is 190 pages long and is illustrated throughout with full colour photographs
Find out more by looking for Grave Tales From Wales in the menu or by following this link
If you subscribe to the mailing list in the box below, then I will contact you as soon as the book is available. You will also be offered a subscriber’s discount before its general release.