The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:42 am

Very poignant photo, this: memorial stone to a dead soldier with the lettering now disfigured:


Nunhead cemetery. Photo: M & R Peralta.

Reminds me of the last line of Hardy's poem:

During Wind and Rain

By Thomas Hardy 1840–1928

They sing their dearest songs—
He, she, all of them—yea,
Treble and tenor and bass,
And one to play;
With the candles mooning each face. . . .
Ah, no; the years O!
How the sick leaves reel down in throngs!


They clear the creeping moss—
Elders and juniors—aye,
Making the pathways neat
And the garden gay;
And they build a shady seat. . . .
Ah, no; the years, the years,
See, the white storm-birds wing across.


They are blithely breakfasting all—
Men and maidens—yea,
Under the summer tree,
With a glimpse of the bay,
While pet fowl come to the knee. . . .
Ah, no; the years O!
And the rotten rose is ript from the wall.


They change to a high new house,
He, she, all of them—aye,
Clocks and carpets and chairs
On the lawn all day,
And brightest things that are theirs. . . .
Ah, no; the years, the years
Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs.



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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:48 am


Nunhead cemetery. Photo: M & R Peralta.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:53 am

Slightly baffling pic from the impressive Peralta archive. What is this? A tree root in the shape of Jesus? Makes a change from manifestations of the Lord on tortillas, I suppose. The dislodged fragment of a stone memorial? scratch


Nunhead cemetery. Photo: M & R Peralta.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:58 am

Kind of surreal.

Vaguely Chirico.

I like it.


Nunhead cemetery. Photo: M & R Peralta.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:00 am


Nunhead cemetery. Photo: M & R Peralta.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:02 am


Nunhead cemetery. Photo: M & R Peralta.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:04 am


Nunhead cemetery. Photo: M & R Peralta.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:01 pm

Next of the "Magnificent Seven", Abney Park cemetery:


Attempt at Comical Caricature of the "New General Cemetery for All Denominations" with Egyptian Design at Abney Park [PUGIN (1843), 'An Apology for the Revival of Christian Architecture'.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:28 pm

From the darkdestiny.co.uk website, which has many great photos of Abney Park which I'm pretty sure I can't, sadly, reproduce here for copyright reasons. Check out the website, though, for some atmospheric pix:

********************************************************************************

Abney Park Cemetery covers 32 acres and was opened in 1840, it was entirely unique for it's time as it was expressly a place for non-conformists (persons who rejected the ceremonial and liturgy of the Church of England, instead worshipping in Methodist, Baptist, Congregationalists, Wesleyan and other chapels; the Quakers and Salvationists are similar groups).

The ornamental ironwork, along an Egyptian theme, over the Church Street entrance came from the entrance to Abney House, named after Lady Mary Abney, who retired here in the early 1700s with her daughters and their tutor and chaplain, Dr Issac Watts.

He was a well-known dissenter, who lived in the area for many years and was famous as a composer of hymns and sermons.

The hieroglyphs over the lodges read, 'The Gates of the Abode of the Mortal Part of Man'. They have recently been complemented by a formal courtyard fronting on to the High Street and a cobbled carriageway leading to a sundial set in a circle of paving.

In it's day, the cemetery eclipsed the Royal Park at Kew, with 2,500 different species of trees and shrubs . The effect was to make Abney Park a tourist attraction from the outset.



Abney Park cemetery. East Gate.


Last edited by eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:35 pm


Abney Park cemetery.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:41 pm


Abney Park cemetery with rare recent burial in the foreground, dating from 1992.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:44 pm


Central chapel, Abney Park cemetery.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:46 pm


Dr Isaac Watts memorial statue, Abney Park cemetery,

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:51 pm


This sandstone plaque marks the grave of William and Catherine Booth. Their son and other SA commissioners are buried nearby.


Funeral procession of William Booth at the gates of Abney Park cemetery, 29th August, 1912.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:59 pm


Memorial to Aaron Buzacott, Secretary of the Anti-Slavery Society, now Anti-Slavery International.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:03 pm


Abney Park Blitz memorial. Most of the space is taken up with the names of the victims of the 1940 Coronation Avenue incident.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:07 pm


A female Speckled Wood butterfly in Abney Park cemetery.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:10 pm


The lion on the Bostock grave, Abney Park cemetery.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:13 pm


Squirrels in Abney Park cemetery.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:16 pm


The angel on the grave of Ellen Gray, Abney Park cemetery.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:19 am

This is the rather startling Home page of the "Welcome to West Norwood Cemetery" website:



...of which more later.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  Nah Ville Sky Chick on Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:16 am

Wow, I have quite enjoyed looking at that. They have even got a couple of parakeets in there, we have loads around here, they fly over my house a few times a day, beautiful sunny

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:59 pm



The South Metropolitan Cemetery in West Norwood (established 1837) was the second large Victorian cemetery, after Kensal Green cemetery opened in 1833.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:07 pm



West Norwood was known as "The Millionaire's Cemetery" because it was frightfully posh.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:14 pm


The coffin lift or 'catafalque' stands in the central isle. The blocked aperture in the ceiling led to the now demolished Episcopal Chapel above. The stairs on the right (now blocked) also led up to the chapel.

At the top of the hill, at the site of the memorial rose garden, is where the Episcopalian Chapel used to be, and where the catacombs are. Unfortunately these are not open to the public due to their dilapidated condition, except for occasional openings.

The coffin lift was made by Bramah & Robinson was installed in 1839. It was worked by hydraulics, which made its operation silent. Only the top of the catafalque on which the coffin was placed was moveable and could be swivelled to allow easy removal of the coffin in the catacombs. The system used a single pump. The coffin lift at Kensal Green has recently been fully restored and is available for use for transporting coffins from the Anglican Mortuary Chapel Above. That at West Norwood while still largely intact is derelict and unusable. By law all burials not underground must be in lead lined coffins.


Coffins stacked in one of the vaults. Photo by Nick Catford

The underground river Effra, ran under Norwood Cemetery, and has been re-routed twice. It now runs in a pipe. The cemetery still has problems with flooding, and the catacombs are urgently in need of a shelter or building above, to replace the destroyed chapel and to keep them dry




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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

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