Barnes Old Cemetery: an abandoned graveyard being reclaimed by nature – Flickering Lamps

An abandoned cemetery close to my heart.
Barnes Old Cemetery is elusive.  There’s not much information about it to be found online, and it hides amongst the trees close to the tennis courts on Rocks Lane – most people using the courts or …

Source: Barnes Old Cemetery: an abandoned graveyard being reclaimed by nature – Flickering Lamps

Romanov rumours and the lonely grave of a mysterious woman in Kent – Flickering Lamps

In a corner of a burial ground in the remote marshland town of Lydd in Kent is a lonely grave, set a little apart from the others.  It is the final resting place of a soldier’s wife –…

Source: Romanov rumours and the lonely grave of a mysterious woman in Kent – Flickering Lamps

The centenarian in Brentford’s workhouse: piecing together the life of Mary Hicks

When I visited the churchyard of All Saints, Isleworth, earlier in the year, I’d gone in search of theplague pit there.  However, whilst exploring the burial ground, I also came across a headstone that commemorated a person who would probably have disappeared into an unmarked paupers’ grave were it not for the great age she lived to.  Mary Hicks, who died in 1870 at the grand old age of 104, spent the last twenty-seven years of her life as an inmate of the Brentford Workhouse…

Source: The centenarian in Brentford’s workhouse: piecing together the life of Mary Hicks

“The Anatomizer’s Ground” – Uncovering the history of St Olave’s, Silver Street | Flickering Lamps

The City of London is home to many curious little green spaces, gardens that today are often teeming with office workers enjoying their lunch on a sunny day. The little garden pictured below is just one of them, a small space nestled between office blocks and the busy thoroughfare of London Wall.  In the introduction to his 1901 book The Churches and Chapels of Old London, J G White notes that “the sites of old churches are very plainly indicated in most instances by little green spots, formerly church-yards, now changed into pleasant gardens and resting places.”  The subject of today’s post is the “green spot” on the site of the church of St Olave, Silver Street.

Many of the City’s churches were closed and demolished as the area’s population began to decrease in the 19th Century, and more were destroyed in the Blitz and never rebuilt.  St Olave’s was situated in a part of the Square Mile that was particularly heavily hit by aerial bombardment during the Second World War – it lies just south of London Wall and the Barbican complex, an area devastated by the Luftwaffe.  Silver Street, where William Shakespeare once lived, is no longer on London’s maps, utterly wiped out by the devastation of…

Source: “The Anatomizer’s Ground” – Uncovering the history of St Olave’s, Silver Street | Flickering Lamps

East Sheen Cemetery and the “Angel of Death”

Until very recently, East Sheen was one of our local cemeteries.

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Opened in the early 1900s in a well-heeled area on the edge of Richmond Park, East Sheen Cemetery seems at first to be an entirely typical 20th Century burial ground, its paths lined by stone and marble monuments, sheltered by pine trees.  Sadly, it’s suffered from vandalism over the years and a number of crosses and headstones have fallen or been pushed over.

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However, there is a dramatic surprise waiting for visitors to this otherwise unassuming cemetery.

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Brompton Cemetery, an open-air cathedral of remembrance

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A couple of weekends ago, I was invited to attend an event being held as part of the London Month of the Dead at Brompton Cemetery in west London.  The main cemetery entrance is on Old Brompton Road, not far from Earl’s Court station, in that slightly ragged edge of town where Chelsea, Fulham and Kensington meet, and where genteel houses make way for seedy hotels and dreary bedsits with grimy windows.  Behind high railings, and through an imposing gateway, is one of London’s Magnificent Seven cemeteries.

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