John Renie’s gravestone is odd. There is no other way to describe it. Unless you call it a “curiosity.” But I am sure you won’t have seen anything like it before. It is unique. A square of stone upon which a puzzle has been etched, as if it was a large piece of paper on which someone has tried to amuse themselves for an hour or two. It looks like something a boy would do at the back of a particularly boring Maths lesson.
What it says is nothing more than “Here lies John Renie.” A simple sentence, but repeated on the stone apparently 45,760 times. Find the H in the middle of the stone and then head in any direction you want and it will spell out the same thing. “Here lies John Renie.” In fact find any H and you can follow the words in any way you chose. Up, down across, round corners… There are 285 individual letters carved into the stone. 15 down, 19 across. Count them if you want.
This is one of the stories in my next 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
If you would like more information about the book, then find Grave Tales From Wales in the menu or by clicking on this link
If you want to discover what the book contains, then follow the link below to a short introduction to the book on YouTube
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 subscribers discount before its general release.
Here is an example from the book, in which you can listen to me narrating the entry about the Robber’s Grave in Montgomery. Powys