Cross Bones Graveyard To Get A Public Garden

M@
By M@ Last edited 34 months ago
Cross Bones Graveyard To Get A Public Garden

Wandering around the streets of Southwark, you might have chanced across this curious medley of ribbons, posies and words of remembrance:

15131959769_468a78f6ac_z

This is the Cross Bones graveyard on Redcross Way: a medieval burial ground, briefly a fairground, eventually turned into a Transport for London storage yard, and now a shrine to the 'outcast dead'. Some 15,000 people — mostly paupers and prostitutes — are interred here. Their lives as individuals are long forgotten, but collectively they are remembered.

15318364602_2ecd9a4154_z

Every month, for almost 20 years, local poet John Constable and the Friends of Crossbones have led a vigil at the gates, encouraging participants to tie their commemorations to the barrier. The site beyond the railings also contains a few memorials and plants, but is mostly an unattractive expanse of concrete with restricted access. This will now change, after Bankside Open Spaces Trust received planning permission from Southwark Council and a three-year lease from TfL to create a temporary memorial garden.

garden

Preparatory work, including the careful relocation of the gates to face directly onto the burial site, has already taken place. Landscaping work will begin on the garden shortly, with funding from the Mayor of London's Pocket Parks programme.

Hat tip to the London SE1 website.

Last Updated 05 January 2015

Black Plaques

Are we alone in finding this fussy landscaping inappropriate? The site has incredible power, partly because it is such an eyesore. Sanitizing it with a 'sensory garden', 'performance area' etc detracts from the true nature of this tragic graveyard.