The Lions of London, Part 1

A marker to the dead can take many forms. A simple slab. A towering obelisk. A niche in a wall. Or as a ruddy great lion. Lions in cemeteries – not actual lions, although wouldn’t that be something – exist in funerary sculpture and are almost as impressive as seeing the real thing. There are […]

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Stumbling Stones

 My foot scuffed something. I was walking down the Kloveniersburgwal in Amsterdam in 2018 when something slightly tripped me over. I looked down and saw something shiny embedded into the pavement. There were small plaques, which stood slightly proud from the brickwork. They resembled brass beer coasters, so I knelt down for a closer look. […]

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Six Olympians From the Past

Despite the setbacks of happening in the middle of a global pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics of 2021 has already seen an impressive haul of medals for Team GB: as of current time of writing we have thirteen golds, sixteen silvers and thirteen bronze medals, placing as sixth overall out of two hundred and six nations. […]

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Young Sheldon

Whenever I start researching a cemetery, I always start by looking for a name. My own. Hopefully that won’t be interpreted by you as arrogance. My forename isn’t very common – I’ve only met two other Sheldon’s in my time: one a distant cousin and the other at a party donkey’s years ago. I am […]

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The Peregrine of St. Pauls

The Museum of London has a fabulous Peregrine Falcon. It is however, dead. I saw this bird of prey when I visited the Beasts of London exhibition in 2019 and there was something terribly sad about seeing a creature, although long deceased, stuffed, mounted and displayed in a way that does not reflect the nature […]

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Vesty

I’m in a cemetery today. I don’t want to be. Anyone who knows me will know one of my favourite jokes, considering my passion for cemeteries as museums of people, is to ‘threaten’ people with a blog post. “I’ll be writing about you one day!” I say, tongue in cheek. Earlier this month, it finally […]

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My Local in Lockdown

Famous for being the creative cradles of David Bowie, Bob Monkhouse and Julie Andrews, the ancient heart of the town of Beckenham has always been the church of St. George. Originally built in the 1100s, the grandiose church we see today is the result of a rebuild under the supervision of William Gibbs Barfleet, who […]

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