Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
As the days get shorter and the nights longer, spend your early evenings with Michael in a series of online virtual tours, that look at some of the more chilling aspects of London life. In the first of these he reveals how London buried its deceased population across the centuries.
“It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens”. Woody Allen
In comparison to our Victorian forebears we are able to make light of the inevitability of death using wit and humour. The more affluent Victorians, seeking eternal salvation, took the whole matter of death very reverently and seriously, spending huge sums of money on lavish funerals and memorials. In contrast, the poor, as highlighted for example by Charles Dickens, were often buried in pauper’s graves. Traditionally the city’s dead were buried in local Christian churchyards; but did you know there was also a dedicated burial site for non-conformists?
A population of 500,000 in the late seventeenth century had doubled by 1801 when the first official census was recorded, making it the largest city in the world. By the middle of the century it had increased a further three fold and just prior to the outbreak of the First World War, exceeded 7 million inhabitants.
Up until the 1830s it was customary to remove corpses from existing graves to make way for new burials. Between 1833 and 1841 seven new cemeteries were established in London’s suburbs, including the famous Highgate Cemetery where many famous people are buried including Karl Marx, Michael Faraday and more recently the singer George Michael.
Following an outbreak of cholera the London Necropolis Company provided a huge cemetery of 500 acres, twenty-three miles south west of London. The London Necropolis Railway, which initially ran from London’s Waterloo Station carried the deceased in coffins accompanied by the attendant mourners; a service that ran until the Second World War.
On this virtual tour you will travel on a journey around London with Michael, to discover the often macabre and morbid secrets of London’s dead.
When is this tour?
October 22nd at 7pm
How do I book?
This tour is available to book through Eventbrite