cows cavorting in the churchyard

   This is the Friston Church in East Dean and Friston, a parish in East Sussex, England. Isn’t this the best gate ever with that cute little bell? Well it is, because it is a VERY SPECIAL GATE. It is a Tapsel gate!

   Tapsel gates were invented in the early 1700’s for the dual purpose of keeping cattle out of churchyards and efficiently shuttling coffins through the gate by means of a 90° rotating pivot. They are unique to the county of Sussex, and only six examples survive.

   I wonder if the cows ever tried to get IN while the coffins were being carried OUT? That would’ve been excellent!! Think of all those cows knocking over pallbearers as they shuffled happily into the Forbidden Zone! And then the pallbearers would drop the coffin, and the corpse would roll out, and everyone would begin shouting and wailing and moaning and mooing.

   I don’t know why I think of these things but I do. Anyhow the image is from Wikimedia Creative Commons.