I’ve always found Masonic symbols on headstones fascinating, and I even wrote a chapter on the changing symbolism on Masonic headstones in my PhD and first book The Genesis of Freemasonry. After a stroll around two prominent cemeteries in the Manchester/Salford area; Southern Cemetery in Chorlton-cum-Hardy in southern Manchester, and Weaste Cemetery in Salford, I managed to take a number of photos of Masonic headstones.
It will be interesting to check the membership registers for the lodges in the area against the names on the headstones, though as the majority of the photos are of graves dating from the late Victorian period, through the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, and as there were many lodges in the Manchester/Salford area at that time, it would be a project that may take a while. The use of the square and compass is interesting as on some graves, the position of the compass indicates a particular degree. Without checking the lodge registers for the particular degree of the Mason in question, it can only be speculated upon if the position of the compass was down to the eccentricities of the particular stone cutter or designer, or if the Mason in question was of a specific degree. The styles of the stones are also interesting, reflecting the aesthetic and artistic fashion of the period. All photographs by Dr David Harrison.