Cemetery Symbolism

Many people who enjoy exploring old cemeteries will have noticed interesting symbols on the gravestones. Although some symbols are modern, most of them, from Celtic crosses to draped urns are Victorian. The ouroboro, a snake eating its own tail, has symbolised eternal life for millennia.

Understanding Victorian cemetery symbolism can be difficult to decipher, but understanding it can help you learn a lot about the person buried there, including their religion, social status and beliefs about death.

Our guide to cemetery symbolism explains the meaning and significance of the most common old and new gravestone symbols that you will find across cemeteries throughout the UK.