Cemetery Archives: Bedfont Cemetery

Bedfont Cemetery

Bedfont Cemetery is a delight. The western, older part, is currently being managed as a nature reserve, jointly by the local parish church, and the cemetery's neighbours, Cisco Systems and Bedfont Lakes Country Park. Brambles and lower tree branches are being trimmed back so that memorial stones and their lichen and moss colonies can be seen again and wild flowers can thrive in the light, while other areas are being deliberately left overgrown for the benefit of birds and small mammals.

The newer part of the cemetery really has to be seen to be believed, for it is here that we found the most spectacular examples of grave gifts to be found anywhere in our experience. What may be left on a grave is down to the policy of the cemetery owner, and most borough councils, mindful of tidiness and the safety of their lawnmowers, place strict limits forbidding most offerings. Not so Hounslow Council here. A plethora of garden ornaments, greetings cards, balloons, plastic and plush flowers, toys, mugs, glasses, flags and windmills march across the site: one lucky gentleman enjoyed a bottle of rum and a jar of humbugs. The whole place felt joyful, inhabited, alive: I wish some other boroughs would learn from Bedfont.

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