London’s Magnificent Seven: Kensal Green Cemetery

Way back in 2013 I posted an article about Brompton Cemetery: one of London’s ‘Magnificent Seven,’ a series of lavish Victorian-era burial grounds that formed a ring around the capital. I’ve always planned to visit them all some day – and though I haven’t yet posted a follow-up article, I have actually been to a few more of the ‘Seven since then.

So here’s another for you, this time as a gallery rather than a full-length article: the Kensal Green Cemetery.

Kensal Green was opened in 1833 – 72 acres of burial space, which soon began filling up with notable interments. Architects, composers and politicians were buried here, along with members of the clergy, the nobility, the Royal Society and even the royal family.

Although the Kensal Green Cemetery was originally designed after the model set by the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, it soon evolved into something else. Grecian pillars were joined by gothic crypts and mausoleums, while a number of private tombs introduced Egyptian themes by way of obelisks and sphinxes. All that, meanwhile, lies now beneath a blanket of moss and ivy; a veneer of romantic decay that lends the cemetery a timeless, almost surreally beautiful character.

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