We Went On A Walk Around Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park in a Rainstorm…You’ll Never Guess What Happened Next!

by Christina

I would apologise for the ‘clickbait’ title but I really like it. If you clicked on it purely to find out what happened when me and my mum got caught in a downpour at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park a couple of months back then you are in for a treat! The conclusion to the story is that we were wearing macs, so we were fine. But then the rain ended, and we were left with a dripping forest of green, sheltering centuries old graves from the elements. It was beautiful and tranquil and a pleasure to wander around for an hour on a cold, grey May afternoon.

Here are some photographs – I hope you like them and if you’ve not been to Tower Hamlets Cemetery before, then I hope this inspires you to take a walk up to E3 to delve into this half hidden slice of East End history. And if you are free this weekend, maybe we can convince you to join us at Shuffle Festival, where Sheldon and Sam will be giving tours of this wonderful old Victorian Cemetery-slash-nature-reserve.

Angels dance among the trees

Angels dance among the trees

Not just a cemetery - this place is a haven in the midst of the city for flora and fauna too

Not just a cemetery – this place is a haven in the midst of the city for flora and fauna too

 

Richard and Sophia Duck

Graves closely packed together under the branches of ancient looking trees.

Graves closely packed together under the branches of ancient looking trees.

Maybe the ghosts of The East End were trying to tell us how to vote in the EU Referendum?

Maybe the ghosts of The East End were trying to tell us how to vote in the EU Referendum?

Graves half hidden by foliage, some completely hidden, some lost forever. This grave is one of the lucky ones.

Graves half hidden by foliage, some completely hidden, some lost forever. This grave is one of the lucky ones.

A vast, sprawling empire of the dead, hidden away behind houses and busy roads in E3

A vast, sprawling empire of the dead, hidden away behind houses and busy roads in E3

Its hard to capture the beauty of such a green place just after the rain. But we tried...

Its hard to capture the beauty of such a green place just after the rain. But we tried…

Identical graves all lined up....between 1854 and 1929, Tower Hamlets Cemetery was used as the burial ground for the Brothers of The Charterhouse (Monastery turned almshouse) in Smithfield

Identical graves all lined up….between 1854 and 1929, Tower Hamlets Cemetery was used as the burial ground for the Brothers of The Charterhouse (Monastery turned almshouse) in Smithfield

Sometimes maybe the living and the dead shouldn't mix?

Sometimes maybe the living and the dead shouldn’t mix?

Tower Hamlets is full of art installation pieces from previous festivals. We ran across this colourful bench which made us happy!

Tower Hamlets is full of art installation pieces from previous festivals. We ran across this colourful bench which made us happy!

Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park has been home to Danny Boyle’s Shuffle Festival since 2013 and this weekend (starting on Sat 9th July), once again, you can turn up for talks and walks, outdoor film screenings at midnight, food, music and apparently there’s also a water bomb war for the kids, or if you’re into that sort of thing. Get your tickets here! And discover this most wonderful of old Victorian cemeteries for yourself.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 23.23.30

All photographs (except Shuffle Festival image) copyright Christina Owen 2016

 

 

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One Response to We Went On A Walk Around Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park in a Rainstorm…You’ll Never Guess What Happened Next!

  1. Tower Hamlets is fascinating – I believe that there is a vault that is aligned with the sun so that it can shine through on a certain day. Can you imagine being in there at night?

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