Saturday, February 11, 2012

Welford Road Cemetery

A weekend off just before Valentines day and how do we choose to spend our Saturday? We went for a walk in a cemetery, it turns out we've both wanted to visit Welford Rd for a while. I've walked past it a few times  but never been inside despite a love of Victorian graveyards - perhaps because it's not the sort of thing you necessarily want to do alone.

Today however was perfect, there was enough snow around to make everything look desperately picturesque and also make it clear how many rabbits infest the place. Apparently they undermine the graves, and although we didn't see any (to much sense to be out on such a cold day) there were enough footprints around to make it look like a 'Watership Down' re-enactment had just taken place. 

There were also a lot of snow drops around too, although as we're a week or so behind London and the South they're not at their best yet - another visit might be on the cards. This cemetery is bordered by busy roads, is next to the university, overlooks both a football and rugby stadium, and has a train line running past it - it's not exactly peaceful but it's empty of people (living ones anyway) and clearly a haven for more than rabbits. Sadly there's also been quite a lot of vandalism in the past - grave stones deliberately toppled, and grave sculpture stolen - fortunately things are improving (there's a friends of group which seems to be doing sterling work in the way of restoration and general care) and this place is an oasis. It's a wonderful mix of everything from high Victorian to Art Nouveau, the graves are closely packed, many of them must have cost serious money and speak of extreme devotion and devastation. It's quite a place.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Hayley,

    We both love exploring graveyards when we go somewhere new. There are some desperately sad stories, yet such interesting life stories as well. It is always intriguing to try and visualise the lifestyle and jobs that people enjoyed and endured.

    The state of some of our cemeteries is quite appalling because of vandalism and neglect, we could do well to look to other countries to learn the respect that these resting places are due.

    We went to Switzerland a couple of years back and were amazed and impressed by the local cemetery. Every gravestone was the same, all in soldier straight lines and all covered in fresh flowers, which we were assured were all replaced weekly.

    Glad that you enjoyed the respite from the sub zero temperatures today,

    Enjoy your Sunday,