Nunhead Cemetery   2 comments

 

As we approached Nunhead Cemetery, a horse drawn hearse crossed our paths and I removed my hat.  I wasn’t going to photograph the departed out of respect (the same reason I haven’t shot any disturbing images — although I have plenty of opportunity — of the crime scene that is Grenfell Tower).  But, the departed had already departed and I scrambled to prep the camera but was only able to squeeze off one sad image before it hid behind the line of parked cars.

 

 

Nunhead Cemetery is the 3rd of the Magnificent Seven Cemeteries we’ve visited after Highgate (West and East, distinctly different experiences) and Kensal Green.  It is the largest of the seven and so far the least impressively populated but no less interesting a walk and impossible to take in one go.  Here’s the photos of today’s initial fly-by.

 

 

Just inside the gate and to the right we spotted the Scottish Martyrs Memorial:

 

 

The plaque doesn’t really do justice to how harshly their pleas for reform were dealt with.  The link has a list of their fates which include hanged, burned, hanged and burned, and simply executed or assassinated.  Some were also “insulted.”

 

 

And, all for speaking sense…words relevant even today.

 

 

Also at the entrance and straight ahead, there’s the ruins of a grand chapel damaged by arson ages ago but shored up to use for musical events and, currently, an open air art exhibit.

 

 

On our walk past the Martyrs’ obelisk we looped around by the chapel,

 

 

and passed one of the few residents I’d ever heard of, Jenny Hill:

 

 

The cemetery had been allowed to fall into disrepair and was eventually sold for £1 to a fellow who set about making as much of it safe to visit as possible.  Parts were still being used to inter newcomers, but much of it was subject to subsidence of the tombs and encroachment of the forest.

 

 

 

 

This column seems to be missing a cross.

 

 

An anchor in the left hand, the right might have had a sword or could just be imploring the heavens.

 

The white marble monuments have decayed quite a bit:

 

 

While the pink ones look almost brand new:

 

 

This one was just for me and other fans of “Tater Tomater.”

“Women with har have to wear a Harnott.”

 

 

This was the first of several markers we found with this particular bathroom tile set in it:

 

 

And, this one was recently painted bright green (at the foot you can just make out an errant brushstroke colouring outside the lines):

 

And, down a path into the overgrowth (one of hundreds) strewn with dozens of these small markers someone put up a garden border to house, I suppose, an ancestors’ rock along with coins to pay the ferryman:

 

 

My favourite find of the day was this stone with a cart spring on it and the inscription, “The Spring of Life is Broken.”

 

 

Jackie’s favourite was this pre-tranny tablet describing someone “Who Lived And Died A Man.”

 

 

Some of the better, individual war memorials I’ve come across were here, as well.  It took a moment to realise that our Bobbie died back home of wounds incurred at the Somme:

 

 

And, Royal Navy colleagues added this anchor to the grave of Reg Bult.  His family’s stone, behind, becomes a bit more poignant by his comrades’ addition:

 

 

In the midst of a massive, multipanel WWII memorial, civilian casualties are also recorded:

 

 

 

Overgrown as it is, the cemetery is something of a nature preserve that includes an educational tree trail:

 

 

And, many of the graves are unapproachable (like those in this patch of nettles):

 

 

This tomb was completely devoured by a massive trunk:

 

 

And, the vines on this one form some sort of dreadlocks:

 

 

Without irony, this one has vegetation carved into it:

 

 

And, some of the monuments are as simple as they can get.

 

The wooden crosses take quite a bit more care as they are impermanent.  Still, this one has managed 55 years so far:

 

 

More grand ones are also around.  This one for the shipbuilder, John Allan, has some spectacular lion heads on it:

 

 

And, this one to the type maker (punch cutting was the 18th century equivalent of font design) Vincent Figgins is understated but grand:

 

 

I didn’t want to disturb the artist by crowding over her shoulder so I only got some pretty photos of this one:

 

 

 

This depiction of the life and death of the sculptor Frederick Schroeter (accompanied by wife, Frederica, on two sides of the plinth) was down a path where a massive tree had fallen a few minutes earlier (unstable ground).  We opted to examine this one closely and wait to see if others would drop:

 

 

 

 

And, some of the best ones are the simplest (rest well little Danny):

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: