Lyre and Star Fence Gate

Fences Between Neighbors

Many of the borders of family plots in older sections of Charleston’s Magnolia Cemetery are marked by decorative metal fences. The styles are as varied as the families must have been and all are in some state of decay.

This fence with a Lyre and Star motif is particularly intricate. Sadly a large chunk of it is gone.

Lyre and Star Fence
Lyre and Star Fence

The cemetery is dotted with centuries old Live Oaks and giant Magnolias that take a toll on the fences and stone work below with every big storm that passes over Charleston.

Lyre and Star Fence Gate
Lyre and Star Fence Gate

From the cemetery’s website:

Magnolia Cemetery first opened in 1850. It is on the land of a former rice plantation. The property was designed during a new rural cemetery movement that crossed from Europe to America in the mid-19th century. With lovingly landscaped paths and ponds, trees and green space, Charlestonians would come to Magnolia to picnic and play, as well as visit lost loved ones.

Aside from status, the fences may have been a way to protect a wealthy family’s plot from the picnickers. The cemetery occupies over 130 acres at the edge of a marsh on the Cooper river and it remains a beautiful spot to visit.

Lyre and Star Fence
Lyre and Star Fence

Click on any photo for larger view.

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