Immortelles at Libanus

The churches of the Brecon Beacons Pastorate have been making use of their new website. Each edition of the pastorate newsletter The Link / Y Dolen now appears there and a training session was held in July to show how easy it was to add details of services and other events to the Calendar and upload photos on each chapel’s section of the site.

A major piece of work has been continuing to add an interactive database for each burial ground. Pennorth, Maesyronnen and Sardis, Llangynidr, are now complete with Libanus currently a work in progress. These are the only online databases of this kind for any URC in Wales – perhaps even in the whole of the UK. A valuable source of information for those researching family history from anywhere in the world as well as those interested in local history.

There are always interesting things to be discovered. None more than in the case of Libanus where at least three graves had unusual floral tributes. Thanks to Rob Scourfield (Chair of Addoldai Cymru, the Welsh Religious Buildings Trust) we learned these were ‘Immortelles’. Rob provided a link to a lengthy article on the subject for those who would like to learn more. But briefly they were porcelain floral tributes covered in a glass dome which was protected by a wire mesh. Thought to be popular for those relatives who could not visit the graves to place fresh floral arrangements in memory of their loved ones.

It has been a delight to be at Libanus where the unused sections of burial ground have been full of wildflowers, bees and butterflies. The area was recently designated a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and you can read more about this in the latest edition of the Pastorate newsletter

Sue Cole and Russell Davies