19 September 2012

Cross Bones Graveyard, Southwark: London #32

In Redcross Way, Southwark, there are locked gates festooned with ribbons, soft toys, poems, and comments.
'Cross Bones
In medieval times this was an unconsecrated
graveyard for prostitutes or "Winchester Geese"
By the 18th century it had become a paupers'
burial ground, which closed in 1853.
Here, people have created
a memorial shrine.
The Outcast Dead
R. I. P'.
This area of London was once known for its brothels, theatres, and other activities not allowed within the City of London, and about 15,000 burials of outsiders (prostitutes, the poor, etc) took place here.  The land was saved from being turned into a building site in 1883, and in the 1990s, when TfL (Transport for London), the owner of the land, was extending the Jubilee Line, the Museum of London Archaeology Service found many human remains. The Friends of Cross Bones are now campaigning for a memorial garden on the land from the gates to the south of the enclosed area.
A shrine created within the graveyard. Below, the images speak for themselves. The ribbons often bear names of the dead.
And below is a link to a short video posted on YouTube in which the writer John Constable, who has done so much to champion the official recognition of this outsiders' cemetery, holds forth. 
The People of the Crossbones Graveyard

1 comment:

travel fairy said...

Hi great post, I visited crossbones for my first and so far only time in June this year. I'm now telling whoever will listen about this place how important I think it is to save. my next trip to London willhopefully enable me to attend a vigil