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Showing posts from July, 2018

Burial Grounds versus Public Parks

Today's taphophiles and family historians often enjoy the calm and greenery of urban cemeteries. But would today's cemetery users want to return to a Victorian policy that sought to convert burial grounds into public parks?
In the 1860s, the graves of the ancient parish churchyard of St Pancras were cleared. Among those who helped clear and relocate burials from the old St Pancras Church graveyard to the new St Pancras and Islington Cemetery, was a young Thomas Hardy (1840-1928).  A famous tree still stands in the old graveyard which bears his name. Some of the church lands was taken by the Midland Railway. During this period, around 8,000 bodies were exhumed from their burial plots and some were relocated to the new cemetery in Finchley. Some headstones, like that of the feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (1759-1797) were left standing and can still be seen in the churchyard today. Wollstonecraft's body has since been relocated to Bournemouth in Dorset. 

After the …