Sickness and Death

Iron Fences

Cast Iron Grave 
Enclosure (fence), Blountville Tennessee.

Iron Grave 
Enclosure (fence), Washington County Tennessee.

      Iron grave enclosures or fences are often seen in older cemeteries, especially around a single grave or a family plot. Occasionally, a whole cemetery could be enclosed by an iron fence. They fences were either cast iron, wrought iron, or a combination of both. The complete cast iron fence could be purchased fully made and then assembled on site. These were catalogue items. The wrought iron fence was usually made by the local blacksmith and could include some commercial cast iron parts such as pinnacles. It could also be fabricated from commercial bar stock.
      Our first image shows a full cast iron fence. This type of cast iron fence is popular on the antique market. Just think, what may have been the iron fence around your ancestor’s grave may now be a garden gate for some restored Victorian house. Of course, many iron fences disappeared in the scrap drives of World War II.
      Our second image shows a fence made from bar stock. It encompasses a rectangular “box” stone monument. It is located in the Chuckey area of Washington County, Tennessee. It is not located in a cemetery. The iron fence may not be as old as the box stone monument.
The inscription reads:
      Abel Wiley
      Son of Christopher and Martha Wiley
      Born in Burlington Co. New Jersey on Nov’r 8, 1765
      Died Feb’ry 7, 1821 in Washington Co. Tenn.


Return to: Project Home Page

Page © 2002 Fred Smoot