THE ARCHITECTURE
OF DEATH

collections

 

 

London’s magnificent seven

Between 1833 and 1841 a series of seven private cemeteries were constructed around the centre of London in a bid to resolve the problem of the city’s unhygienic and horrific burial practices. These gardens of death remain open to visitors today in various states of usage and condition.

HIGHGATE (WEST cemetery)

Arguably the most famous, spectacular and fashionable of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries, the older half of Highgate Cemetery is synonymous with Victorian Gothic architecture.

HIGHGATE (EAST cemetery)

Though it opened less than twenty years after its neighbour, Highgate’s eastern section is renown for its contemporary, unusual monuments and as the final resting place of philosopher Karl Marx. 

West Norwood Cemetery

Elaborate Victorian mausolea and monuments at West Norwood Cemetery mingle with understated modern gravestones and city wildlife in a diverse, underrated gem.

KENSAL GREEN CEMETERY

Opened as the first of the Maginficent Seven, the ‘Belgravia of death’ at Kensal Green Cemetery remains one of London’s finest burial grounds.

BROMPTON CEMETERY

A stunningly beautiful, compact Royal Park in the west of London, Brompton Cemetery is densely packed with headstones, gorgeous statues and elegant mausolea.

Abney Park Cemetery

Designated an arboretum and nature reserve, Abney Park Cemetery rewards those prepared to embrace the ivy and undergrowth that provide it with a peculiar, dishevelled feel.  

Nunhead Cemetery

Dotted with elaborate headstones and memorials, Nunhead Cemetery is a peaceful, well maintained garden of the dead with views into the heart of the city.

Tower Hamlets CEMETERY

The last of the Magnificent Seven to open and the first to close, Tower Hamlets Cemetery is the most modest and possesses an ambience of its very own.

LONDON’S LESSER KNOWNS

There are far more cemeteries in England’s capital city than just the Magnificent Seven. Here are just some of them.

Hampstead Cemetery

An low key London cemetery that is every bit as fascinating as any of the Magnificent Seven, Hampstead Cemetery contains plenty of elaborate and beautiful monuments.

Putney Vale Cemetery

Sat alongside the busy A3 road, Putney Vale Cemetery is best known for the 20th century names interred within, but it also contains evocative Victorian monuments.

OUT OF CAPITAL

Photographs taken in cemeteries and graveyards beyond the London area.

BROOKWOOD cemeterY

Conceived as the necropolis to cater for the vast majority of London’s future burials, Surrey’s vast Brookwood Cemetery fuses Victorian beauty with the uniformity of the 20th century military. 

ARNOS VALE CEMETERY

Bristol’s beautiful Arnos Vale Cemetery has a history in common with its London cousins: years of grandeur followed by neglect and a subsequent renaissance. It is one of the finest cemeteries in the south of England. 

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