Wednesday 27 May 2020

A walk on the wild side

A couple of weeks ago, here in the UK, the government loosened the lock down to allow people to meet up with someone not of their household, outdoors, so long as they socially distanced. Until yesterday we hadn't taken advantage of this as the only people we would be meeting up with would be our older daughter and Olly. Since they have been working from home and so have we there really hasn't been time but this week Katy is on half term break, Olly and John are on holiday and that left me as the only person working. I didn't want to miss out on a walk and meeting up with Katy and Olly so we organised to meet at 6:30 at Nunhead cemetery. It may not sound a great place to walk but this is what the website of the Friends of Nunhead cemetery says about it

'Perhaps the least known, but most attractive, of the great Victorian Cemeteries of London. Consecrated in 1840, it is one of the seven great Victorian cemeteries established in a ring around the outskirts of London. It contains examples of the magnificent monuments erected in memory of the most eminent citizens of the day, which contrast sharply with the small, simple headstones marking common, or public, burials. It's formal avenue of towering limes and the Gothic gloom of the original Victorian planting gives way to paths which recall the country lanes of a bygone era.'

It was a lovely place to walk and although we met quite a few people walking, jogging and cycling there was plenty of room for social distancing. The added bonus was that Scamp was able to come with us as dogs are allowed in on a lead.  As we entered the cemetery we found this memorial.

This isn't a grave marker but a memorial to 5 political Scottish Martyrs - Thomas Muir, Fyshe Palmer, William Skriving, Joseph Gerrald and Maurice Margarot who were transported to Australia in 1794 for sedition. This is a second monument erected to the martyrs, the first being on Calton Hill in Edinburgh.

The main paths through the cemetery are wide dirt tracks but in place we dipped down into little narrow paths that snaked between sites and eventually joined up with the main paths again. It was the forays off the main paths that Scamp enjoyed the most. The trees formed a fabulous canopy and the patterns made by the leaves and branches was beautiful.

The cemetery has many old graves and memorials and in the older areas it is a little or sometimes very over grown.

I love the way the sunlight was catching the grave stones and producing spotlight effects and shadows. We didn't get to the cemetery until 6:30 in the evening and left at about 8:30 so we were walking in lovely evening sunshine.

Some of the crosses had beautiful Celtic knot patterns on them.

There is an Anglican chapel in the cemetery which is now a ruin having been the victim of an arson attack in 1976. The building has been stabilised and now it is used as a venue for music and theatre performances.

On the wall in the chapel near the entrance to the catacombs there is this spooky character.

The cemetery was full of flowers both wild and cultivated. I particularly liked this clematis which I spotted as we were leaving. Unfortunately the only way I could get the picture was shooting into the sun

This small tree was also beautiful and had a lovely smell. If you know what it please tell me.

This was our first trip going away from our home area. The journey only took 30 minutes but it felt like we were escaping. The walk was very welcome and we enjoyed the wildness of the cemetery. If you want to find out more information about it please click HERE

This evening I'm working on my hexie bag. I'm not sure if I'll get it finished before the end of the month but I'm going to have a good try.



  1. Glad you were able to have a nice little excursion. The tree you asked about looks like lilac to me. But I was not able to see the blossoms up close enough without the photo getting blurry. If it is lilac I have one in my backyard and they have a lovely fragrance.

  2. Oh, I love a good old cemetery. Beautiful blooming things too. How nice to get out after so long. Looks like a lovely evening.