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Category Archives: 20th Century
Hendon Cemetery was opened by the Abney Park Cemetery Company, but is now run by Barnet Council, who are to be congratulated on their excellent maintenance of the site. Hendon lacks many very spectacular monuments, but it's still a beautiful cemetery, well-planted with trees and shrubs which give it the feel of a country churchyard. North London's varied cultures are well-represented, with a large Greek section which spills over amongst the Chinese graves lining the western end of the main path. Here I saw for the first time the Chinese custom of leaving oranges on graves, and - very much not for the first time - the English custom of celebrating the football allegiances of the dead. They are, it seems, mostly Arsenal supporters.
The eastern half of Hoop Lane belongs to the Sephardi tradition, with flat slabs slightly raised from the ground. To be frank, I found the place completely overwhelming: the planting of hedges and trees that's traditional in English cemeteries might make the place pretty, but it also serves to stop you seeing too many graves at once. There's none of that at Hoop Lane: it's a wide, bleak ground filled with white monuments to the horizon.
The western half is more usual to English eyes, with upright gravestones. There's still - as normal in a Jewish cemetery - very little planting beyond a line of standard roses along the main path.
The City of London Cemetery was opened in 1856 and is still used for burials and cremations. It's an absolutely stunning place: a mixture of sumptuous Victorian monuments, wonderful mature landscaping and modern burial areas.
Pictures from 2005.
Pictures from 2005, taken with a Pentax MX and real film. Gap Road was opened in 1876 and is still open for burials. It's run by the London Borough of Merton, who do cemeteries well, and make the rather lovely statement on their website that "the cemetery is open to residents and non-residents". Indeed.
Bromley Hill is a small but tidily well-maintained site, a little oasis of calm beside a main road. Though the monuments themselves are largely unremarkable, the pair of tiny chapels and their porte cochere make an attractive and, unusually, unvandalised entrance.