A Columbarium Wall

Soon, I will begin construction on a columbarium in a western Connecticut cemetery. The term columbarium is derived from the Latin columba, meaning dove. So, what do doves have to do with laying the departed to rest? Traditionally, a columbarium is a sepulchral structure with recesses in the walls to receive the ashes of the dead. The walls of cathedrals often have columbaria. But, prehistorically, those recesses were simply hollows in a cliff face, hollows sometimes shared by nesting doves. Thus, the dove became a symbol of love and peace. In the case of columbaria, the dove represents resting in peace.

Robin Key Landscape Architecture is the designer of the work I will be doing. The structure is a 170 foot long dry stone wall with 50 recesses. The site is a quiet corner of an old cemetery. The wall will wind through mature oak and maple trees. The footprint for the wall has been outlined in the space. I’ve chosen, loaded and shipped the stone from my Vermont supply yard with the help of A.S. Clark and Sons. The next step is to dig the footing trench and pack it with crushed stone.