03/08/2017

A WALK IN TOWER HAMLETS CEMETERY


Five minutes walk from Mile End Tube in Bow you will find Tower Hamlets Cemetery; a hidden gem of calm green space in the bustling heart of East London. Agreed, it is nowhere near as grand or as large as Highgate cemetery, but it's certainly worth a visit ~ to see a Victorian graveyard surrounded by natural wildnerness.

The first internment took place here in 1841. The last in 1966. Essentially, the graveyard was provided for the working class, but over the 27 acres of consecrated ground are many ornate monuments, with obelisks and angels dedicated to trade unionists and other champions of workers' rights,  as well as philanthropists, merchants, sailors, and shipbuilders from the nearby docks.



Some of the tombstones are listed with English Heritage. Sadly, too many of them are scarred with shrapnel after the cemetery was bombed during the second world war. But there is still great beauty to be seen in this eerie and inspiring place that found a place in the VV's heart and even went on to feature in The Somnambulist, which was her first Victorian gothic novel.


As the cemetery appears in scenes from The Somnambulist 



 The VV ~ Essie Fox ~ discussing The Somnambulist on Channel 4's Bookclub

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