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Staring Into The Face of Death

It’s not on display any more, but one of my favourite objects in The British Museum is Napoleon’s death mask. Death masks were often used in an era before photography was widespread and captured likenesses which were used in sculpting busts of the decased post mortem. John Constable’s is on display at the Royal Academy […]

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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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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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Parliament’s Postie

Imagine being at the heart of communication in one of the most important buildings in the world! It’s 1903 and in his private office in Buckingham Palace, King Edward VII sits in his chair, pouring over a list of names. Making notes beside each one, the roll of names before him has been given Royal […]

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Finding Mr. Moonlight

There’s a cemetery on a common that practically no-one knows is there. It’s not listed on The London Borough of Richmond’s Cemeteries page (it should be) and the state it’s in now is a stark contrast as to how well it was maintained a century ago. I first found out about the cemetery from a […]

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Help Restore The Burdick Grave

Right; roll up sleeves time, people. An accident befell my friends at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park not too long ago; a ruddy great tree decided it was time to collapse and in the process it took out a monument that is now in pieces on the floor. Tower Hamlets doesn’t have the most spectacular tombs […]

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