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Thread: Cross Bones Graveyard, Southwark, London

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Default Cross Bones Graveyard, Southwark, London

    I didn't really know where to put this [as it's not based in Liverpool] but thought here is probably best, as it would appeal to the Tom Slemen fanbase.

    All photos were taken by me today, while walking through Southwark, London. I was taking a shortcut from the high street, when I stumbled across the Cross Bones Graveyard, almost completely by chance. I was walking down Redcross Street and I casually looked over towards a pair of non-descript, but otherwise colourful gates. The gates themselves are covered with mostly red and white ribbons, some decorating and fixing the bouchets of flowers dispayed there, which were in varying states of decay. Personal messages, wrapped in clear plastic are left as a tribute by some caring member of the public. Unopened cans of beer, money [only pennies], and a scaled plastic [at least I hope it was plastic?] femur bone, with a message scrawled on the side of it also decorates the gates.

    A Single-Woman's Graveyard - What struck me was that this was a non-conformist graveyard, on presumably unconsecrated ground. A graveyard for prostitutes, criminals and undesirables: the underclass, destined for the underworld. Wiki reference here.

    I was quite moved, so I thought I'd share these few images with you.

    D.


    Image 1 ^ Cross Bones Graveyard Gates.



    Image 2 ^ Crossbones Graveyard - very little in the way of monuments, some stones have been erected over the wall to the right, but most of the tributes come from the public on the front gates.



    Image 3 ^ "Winchester Geese" - In 14th century England, London prostitutes were obliged to live within Cock Lane, part of the Bishop of Winchester's lands. He benefitted from the rents and they were commonly known as Winchester Geese.


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    Image 4 ^ Some green but happy soul.


    Image 5 ^ Not forgotten - it's estimated [wiki] that 15,000 people are interred here.



    Image 6 ^ The George [Southwark] is one of the few surviving examples of a galleried coaching inn in Britain. Originally, the galleries would have faced a courtyard on three, or possibly four sides. And would have put on plays. This gave rise to theatres like the Rose and Shakespeare's Globe. Indeed Southwark was a place were gambling, bear baiting, cock-fighting, prostitution and theatre could thrive, away from the strict moral laws of London, on the other side of the River Thames. It was in places like this, that many single ladies would have plied their trade.

    .

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazza View Post


    Image 6 ^ The George [Southwark] is one of the few surviving examples of a galleried coaching inn in Britain. Originally, the galleries would have faced a courtyard on three, or possibly four sides. And would have put on plays. This gave rise to theatres like the Rose and Shakespeare's Globe. Indeed Southwark was a place were gambling, bear baiting, cock-fighting, prostitution and theatre could thrive, away from the strict moral laws of London, on the other side of the River Thames. It was in places like this, that many single ladies would have plied their trade.
    I have been here. A superb place. I like the way people of today attempt to put right to poor respect of days gone by.
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    Senior Member fortinian's Avatar
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    Facinating once again Dazza.

    Have you heard of the London Necropolis Railway? Good article on it here:

    http://www.forteantimes.com/features...lis_train.html (You may need to register).

    It's becoming rather a habit, us discussing graveyards !

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    I have been here. A superb place. I like the way people of today attempt to put right to poor respect of days gone by.
    Quite right. If it was good enough for Dickens.....good-'nough for me. Next time you're in the area, I'll buy you a pint there?
    D.

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortinian View Post
    Facinating once again Dazza.

    Have you heard of the London Necropolis Railway? Good article on it here:

    It's becoming rather a habit, us discussing graveyards !
    Thanks fortinian,

    Oh dear, it's graveyards again. I'm sorry - I think I've got it out my system now. Thanks for the article, fascinating hey? The London Necropolis Railway - the ultimate one-way ticket, riding in your own tailored carriage - a bit small though? I also think it was an idea born on the back of the industrial revolution [1750-1850], and the population explosion that most cities experienced. It's not surprising that an alternative came along quarter of a century later - cremation.

    D.

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    Been there, it's an amazing place.

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