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"WITHIN THE RIFLED STRONGHOLDS OF THE DEAD"  ROBERT RAIKES MAUSOLEUM | by summonedbyfells
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"WITHIN THE RIFLED STRONGHOLDS OF THE DEAD" ROBERT RAIKES MAUSOLEUM

There is a latin inscription with the name of "Robertus Raikes" behind the foliage high up on this impressive and sadly crumbling mausoleum at the north end of Welton Dale, I can't decipher the inscription but Robert Raikes was the son of Timothy Raikes, vicar of nearby Hessle. The family made money out of newspapers in Gloucestershire, being a successful man Timothy sired many children, one Robert Raikes the younger, founded the Sunday School movement that became known as "The Ragged Schools". There is a memorial plaque to a "Ragged School in Chesterfield" and when I worked in Chesterfield wondered what a ragged school was until Google bestowed its magic. Its sad to see this fine structure mouldering away, out of sight. Round the corner on the right of the mausoleum one of the exterior blocks has been removed making it look as if someone has been trying to get in, or possibly its Robert Raikes trying to get out! Robert Raikes 1736 - 1811.

 

The Scottish poet Violet Jacob seems apt.

 

THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS (part).

 

While round the sleepers, sounds of feet have broken

The stillness that encompassed them so long,

And the loud voices of an idle throng

Within those halls of death have idly spoken;

While sacrilegious hands

Have loosed about them funeral bands

To rob their bosom of life's symbolled token.

 

From one unchanging hope can none divide them,

Although its outward emblem be despoiled;

Though silence and the peace for which they toiled

A world whose ways they knew not has denied them,

That hope its wings has spread

Within the rifled strongholds of the dead

As the wings shadowed on the wall beside them.

 

Violet Jacob 1863 - 1946.

 

Charles Dickens took an interest in the Ragged School movement: " ...a further activity he took on was advising his friend, Miss Coutts. She asked him his view of the movement for "Ragged Schools" set up for the poorest parts of London by volunteer teachers prepared to teach any who came, the homeless and starving, the disabled even pupils who explained that their occasional absences were occasioned by prison sentences. Dicken's letter describing his visit to the Ragged School in Saffron Hill - where incidentally, he had placed Fagin's house is a masterpiece of descriptive writing and argument. He was shocked by what he saw, and also amused by the children's cheeky remarks about his white trousers and long hair".

 

From Charles Dickens A Life by Claire Tomalin.

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Taken on October 16, 2011