1850s London was bursting. The population had doubled between 1801-1850. There was simply no more space to bury the bodies. And with cremation still taboo, the London Necropolis Railway was founded. The idea was to transport dead bodies and their accompanying mourners out to Surrey by rail for funerals and burials, so everyone in the party (but one) would have a return ticket back to London.
The railway lasted for 87 years until 1941, running nearly every day, and at its peak it carried 2,000 bodies a year. In total 203,041 people were buried in Brookwood Cemetery during that time.
Given that our lodgings for this leg of the trip are also in Surrey, I was hopeful that this London Necropolis Railway terminus (mmm, I know) would be somewhere on the right side of the city for us to get to. And I was not disappointed:
Right next door (T&Cs apply) to Waterloo. I’ll hopefully be teaching the kids a bit of gory history later today.
I’ve finally put some photos from our UK trip onto Flickr. They’re not my best, I don’t think. A lot of them are from our day out in London and to be honest, I’m really not very happy with them. (Am I selling this to you yet? lol) But then we did go to London on a weird, hazy, dim day; it was seriously grey.
Yes, even by London’s oft monochromatic standards.
I’ve put them in anyway – for the sake of posterity if nothing else. Fortunately, there were nicer days too:
So next time someone insists that It’s Grim Up North – simply point them in this direction…
Let me start by reminding you that trespass is bad. Trespass can get you arrested, unless of course you’re a protesting student at a South Africa university with a continually capitulating VC, in which case you’ll pretty much be allowed to get away with anything.
But I digress, often.
Don’t trespass. Let other people do it for you. Live vicariously through their foolishness. Allow them to take the silly risks. I’m talking, of course, of Harry Gallagher and his friend… er… HD.XR (possibly a pseudonym) who go leaping around rooftops and landmarks in London, making your palms sweat.
One thing we’ve seen before from these sorts of naughty escapades is that you can get some fantastic photographs. Harry and… er… HD document their best efforts on their respective instagrams here and here.
It’s good stuff.
There’s also a Youtube channel, with rather too much introduction and not quite enough action for me, but the videos usually come with a handy “skip to [time] for the good bit” comment if you don’t want the preamble.