Preview: City Of London Cemetery Open Day

M@
By M@ Last edited 103 months ago
Preview: City Of London Cemetery Open Day
The exterior of the 1970s crematorium.
The exterior of the 1970s crematorium.
The most famous occupant of the cemetery must surely be this fellow.
The most famous occupant of the cemetery must surely be this fellow.
Another Ripper victim. Catherine Eddowes was slain in Mitre Square.
Another Ripper victim. Catherine Eddowes was slain in Mitre Square.
Inside the main chapel room. The room will be screening a short film about the cemetery during the open day.
Inside the main chapel room. The room will be screening a short film about the cemetery during the open day.
Inside the crematorium, three cremators have incinerated over a quarter of a million bodies since opening.
Inside the crematorium, three cremators have incinerated over a quarter of a million bodies since opening.
The cemetery is a haven for wildlife, with 3,500 trees and 20,000 rose bushes. And at least one fox.
The cemetery is a haven for wildlife, with 3,500 trees and 20,000 rose bushes. And at least one fox.
The gurney used to transport coffins from the chapel room to the cremator.
The gurney used to transport coffins from the chapel room to the cremator.
The City of London Cemetery contains many mass graves moved out here from City churchyards in Victorian times. This memorial marks the site of disinterments from St Helen's Bishopsgate, including the remains of architect and scientist Robert Hooke. More here.
The City of London Cemetery contains many mass graves moved out here from City churchyards in Victorian times. This memorial marks the site of disinterments from St Helen's Bishopsgate, including the remains of architect and scientist Robert Hooke. More here.
You'll also find a couple of Ripper victims in the cemetery. Here's Mary Ann Nichols, who was murdered in Durward Street, Whitechapel.
You'll also find a couple of Ripper victims in the cemetery. Here's Mary Ann Nichols, who was murdered in Durward Street, Whitechapel.
The roof of the old crematorium. Many of the cemeteries buildings are designed in neo-Gothic, which contrasts with the modern crematorium.
The roof of the old crematorium. Many of the cemeteries buildings are designed in neo-Gothic, which contrasts with the modern crematorium.
Victorian pauper graves at the eastern edge of the cemetery.
Victorian pauper graves at the eastern edge of the cemetery.
Burials from all faiths and none take place at the cemetery. Here's a Hindu shrine near the main crematorium building.
Burials from all faiths and none take place at the cemetery. Here's a Hindu shrine near the main crematorium building.
Perhaps the most impressive memorial in the cemetery is to David Vigiland, a wealthy mariner who died in 1955. At 50 tonnes, it's said to be one of the largest pieces of sculpted marble in the world, and portrays The Descent from the Cross by Rubens.
Perhaps the most impressive memorial in the cemetery is to David Vigiland, a wealthy mariner who died in 1955. At 50 tonnes, it's said to be one of the largest pieces of sculpted marble in the world, and portrays The Descent from the Cross by Rubens.
The woodland trail, 'the natural option', where ashes and burials go unmarked.
The woodland trail, 'the natural option', where ashes and burials go unmarked.

This Sunday, the City of London Cemetery will hold its first Open Day since 2006. The cemetery, out near Wanstead Flats, will put on displays of a more sepulchral nature than your typical garden fete. We're promised demonstrations of stone masonry and urn design, a chance to inspect a Victorian funeral cort├Ęge and renditions of 'most requested' funeral music from a brass band.

The cemetery is London's largest, spread out over 200 acres of elegant rose gardens and woodland walks. Regular tours will highlight the wildlife, landscaping and famous residents and a short film about the cemetery will be screened in the main chapel.

Best of all, though, is the opportunity to tour the crematorium. If you've never before considered the practicalities of incinerating a coffin and human body, this will be a real eye opener - especially when you reach the room where leftover 'organics' are ground down by stone balls and retrieved hip replacements are layered in buckets.

Click through the gallery above for a photo-tour of the cemetery and crematorium, and read a full account here.

The City of London Cemetery Open Day, Sunday 19 July, 10am-4pm. Entrance is free. The nearest station is Manor Park, a short ride out from Liverpool Street.

Last Updated 15 July 2009

cobo04

I went there last last year on a video shoot, okay it is a place of the dead but we all have to go sometime. So would recommend a visit if you can get there before your end comes...

danielsm

Hi M@
I work for the City of Londn and I was wondering if the pictures used here are yours, and if so can we have copies to use in our internal publications please. They are very good images of the Cemetery.
Thanks