Here are a few on the many interesting cemeteries in the United Kingdom and Ireland….
Interesting English Cemeteries
Brompton Cemetery – London, UK
Teresa from Brogan Abroad
Brompton Cemetery in London is one of those quintessentially Victorian cemeteries that you see in horror and period movies – think Sherlock Holmes and Finding Neverland, which were actually filmed here. It is part of what is known as ‘The Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries in London, and you will realise why as soon as you walk through the gate.
Built in 1840, it is one of Britain’s oldest cemeteries and it has over 35,000 monuments that go from simple headstones to grand mausoleums. Here you can find the graves of notable people such as Emmeline Pankhurst, the famous suffragette.
Don’t forget to visit the beautiful chapel and the colonnade. The catacombs are open to the public once a year, and if you happen to be there around that time, don’t miss this opportunity. Even if you don’t go in, have a peek through the gate and you will be able to see the ornate coffins stacked up on shelves. A pretty daunting sight!
Rochester Cathedral, Rochester
Sianna from E O Stories
The lovely small town of Rochester has one of the most beautiful and peaceful Gothic Cathedrals I’ve seen. In front of it, there is a little cemetery. It might not impress people passing by but there’s an interesting story about Charles Dickens related to this place. No, he’s not buried here but it was indeed his last wish. Rochester was Dickens’ favourite place and inspired many of his novels, characters and landscapes. He specifically asked to be buried in the cathedral’s cemetery but the clergy at that time insisted that the author has to be buried in the Poets’ corner in Westminster Abbey’s. Today there is a memorial of Dickens and his death wish on one of the walls of the Rochester Cathedral.
Victorian Pet Cemetery, Hyde Park London UK
Michele from Legging It
In 1881 the Gatekeeper at Victoria Lodge started burying dogs in the Lodge’s Garden. Today the garden is full of little headstones of not just dogs but cats and even a goat. The cemetery is a poignant reminder of the connection people have with their pets. Most of the pets were owned by the people who lived near the park so often spent a lot of time there. It is easy to spend an hour or so wandering through the small garden and reading the epitaphs on the 300 graves. The Cemetery is only open by booking only (via email on this page)and costs £50 for up to 6 people.
American Cemetery, Cambridge
Cassie from Cass Travels
The American Cemetery is located just outside of Cambridge, UK and is the only American WWII cemetery in England. If you’re in Cambridge, it is well worth the trip whether you’re American or not. The Visitors Centre has recently been redone and they have a gorgeous set up – some history about the war, interactive displays, as well as the bios of some of the soldiers who are buried in the Cemetery. It’s a somber experience, but a beautiful one, containing close to 4000 graves, along with a Chapel and the Wall of the Lost, a list of 5000 soldiers who were MIA in the war.
Interesting Scottish Cemeteries
Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh
Suzanne from Boomeresque
Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh, Scotland became the city graveyard in 1551. Some of the graves have locked grates over them, to deter early 19th century grave robbers looking for corpses to sell to Edinburgh Medical College.
Old Carlton Burial Ground, Edinburgh
Naomi from Probe Around the Globe
I went to Edinburgh with my dad for a short weekend get-a-way. We didn’t really know what the famous sights of Edinburgh were, but we knew we wanted to climb Carlton Hill. All day, it had been raining and the stereotype of typical Scottish weather, did not disappoint us. When we climbed Carlton Hill, we could oversee the whole of Edinburgh and all of sudden, the sun came out. The sunrays were lighting up the area around Carlton Hill and we noticed a little cemetery across the street. We decided to go in and take a look. We were wandering around the aisles and these majestic graves and memory stones were towering over us. With graves going back to 1718, the Old Carlton Burial Ground was a place of grandeur and history.
Interesting Irish Cemeteries
Donegal Cemetery, Donegal
Dani from Like Riding a Bicycle
This old cemetery in Ireland was beyond stunning. I spent hours walking around, unable to read the etchings on most of the tombstones as they were too ancient to remain visible. Who were these people? What were their lives like? I morbidly pondered how they died as I walked around, a strange sensation encompassing my body. The following day, I went to a nearby cemetery in which there were no tombstones at all; they merely had a field with unmarked graves. A sign indicated that these unmarked graves were for those who dyed in the famine of the 1800s – the poor people, that is. The contrast of the first magnificent cemetery for all those who could afford it, compared to these unmarked graves was nothing short of eerie, but a beautiful experience nonetheless.
Glasnevin Cemetery Dublin
Lauren from Postgrad & Postcards
“My taxi driver recommended Glasnevin to me, and I was surprised that in all my travel planning I had not heard of it. It is my duty to pass on this gem of a place to the next traveler, because I truly loved it! I recommend the guided tour that gave an interesting historical perspective on an otherwise overwhelming amount of graves… Why? Because over 1.5 million people are buried in Glasnevin, (more than alive in Dublin!)you can get lost in it. Some important Irish historical figures are buried here, such as Daniel O’Connel, the great Irish Liberator. It is a chilling feeling walking through the middle of the cemetery, only to see rows and rows of graves as far as the eye can see.”
St Kevins Cemetery, Glendalough
Danielle from The Thought Card
St. Kevin Cemetery is an ancient graveyard in Glendalough. As one of the most important ancient monastic sites in Ireland, Glendalough also features a large round tower, stone churches and picturesque valleys. Still in use today, the cemetery’s oldest tombstones date back centuries. Through a guided tour, I enjoyed learning more about Irish ancient history and the origins of Celtic crosses which stud the cemetery.
If you have any cemeteries to add please get in touch.