O L D   T E N N E N T   C H U R C H

Death comes to all, but great achievements raise a monument which shall endure until the sun grows old --George Fabricius

Old Tennent Cemetery

Old Tennent Church & Cemetery, Manalapan, New Jersey

explored & photographed by: Shady

Old Tennent Church & Cemetery, Tennent Road, in Manalapan... I was always fascinated with the stories about this place... I had lived in Jersey for awhile but hadn't had time to visit it, so I decided to explore the place on a chilly December afternoon...

Old Tennent Cemetery

Old Tennent Cemetery

Old Tennent Cemetery

Old Tennent Cemetery

Old Tennent Cemetery

This place is extremely large, extremely old, and rich with fascinating history. The church itself was used as a makeshift field hospital during the Battle of Monmouth on June 28th, 1778, which was one of the largest battles of the American Revolution. The battle was so close that the walls of the church were riddled with holes from cannonballs. To this very day, the pews still bear the mark's of the surgeons saw and the bloodstains of wounded and dying soldiers. There are even old, antique cannons on the premises.

Old Tennent Cemetery

Old Tennent Cemetery

Old Tennent Cemetery

Old Tennent Cemetery

Old Tennent Cemetery

Many people lost their lives on these grounds, and quite a few soldiers- British and American alike- were laid to rest in the sprawling cemetery. All cemeteries are filled with the dead, obviously... but what makes this one different is that many people actually died on these grounds in addition to being buried in them. The lovely old church sits atop a hill in the middle of the cemetery. The congregation has occupied this building since 1751, and the church is still active.

Old Tennent Cemetery

Old Tennent Cemetery

Old Tennent Cemetery

Old Tennent Cemetery

Many wealthy families have apparently put loved ones to rest here... there are ornately beautiful mausoleums nearly everywhere you look. Some caught my eye especially because of the stained glass in the construction. Take note of the beautiful angel in the above pictures. The elaborate monuments of marble, wrought iron, and stained glass are a touching tribute to those who are no longer of this world...

Old Tennent Cemetery

Old Tennent Cemetery

Old Tennent Cemetery

In addition to the beauty of the stone monuments there were a fair share of oddities. Most cemeteries have at least a few peculiar stones. This one was no exception... in fact, there are many unusual stones and monuments in this cemetery. For instance, the dearly departed in the above/left picture must have been quite fond of her cats! And there are many more beautiful and interesting markers to be found here- this is an enormous place.

The church itself wasn't open, so we didn't get the chance to look inside, except through the windows. Sigh.

Do you have any more background information or stories to tell about this place?

 

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