Hampstead Cemetery

Hampstead Cemetery

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Posted 2022-07-19 by Serena Reidyfollow


A cemetery isn't the first place you'd think of when deciding on where to go for a walk, but it's a unique alternative for anyone who wants a bit of a change from their local park. Cemeteries tend to be steeped in history too, and you might spot the graves of one or two famous names.

Located in the Fortune Green end of West Hampstead, is a peaceful place to go for a walk. It was opened in 1876 and was consecrated by the Bishop of London at the time. The cemetery originally spanned 20 acres and was extended by 6 acres in 1901. It's estimated that 60,000 people are buried there. has three notable buildings: the lodge (designed by Charles Bell in the 1870s) and two Neo-Gothic chapels (which are both Grade II listed buildings). While the southern chapel was originally Anglican, the northern is non-conformist.



The main entrance to is situated just off Fortune Green Road if you walk up past Tesco in the direction of Finchley Road. There are various paths to take once you enter the cemetery: I personally like to stick to the main path, which leads to the first of two Gothic-style mortuary chapels. I then tend to venture off along one of the side paths and admire all the different flowers and trees that inhabit the cemetery. Of course, I like to take a nosy at the names on the gravestones.



Ever since the Victorian period, has been a place to bury the rich and famous. Noteworthy names that have graves there include Dame Gladys Cooper (actress), Harry Randall (actor and comedian), and Andrew Fisher (fifth Prime Minister of Australia). 216 Commonwealth service personnel from the First World War and 44 from the Second World War were also buried in Hampstead Cemetery.



One of the most striking memorials in the cemetery is that of Martha Bianchi. She died in 1936 during childbirth, and her husband created a Grade II listed Art Deco memorial in remembrance. You'll see an angel with wings outstretched that looks down on Martha's tomb.



Walking around Hampstead Cemetery, you'll notice many trees. The main tree is mature ash, but you'll also come across oak, sycamore, yew, Norway maple, Swedish whitebeam and silver birch. Butterflies are often spotted fluttering around the cemetery, especially in the wildlife area in the north part of the eastern half. There are plenty of trees, shrubs and wildflowers there. It's a quiet part of the cemetery to read a book or sunbathe when the weather is nice.



Got time to spare? leads to Fortune Green Open Space , a fairly small park that is popular for families who live in the area. It has a relatively basic playground, with swings, seesaws and slides. In addition, there are numerous benches, grassy patches for picnics and relaxing, and an enclosed space for sports and games. Occasionally, you'll be able to hear the chime of an ice cream van, which stops on Ajax Road on warmer days.

In terms of food and drinks, there is no shortage of cafes and restaurants in the vicinity. You could pop into Nautilus for fish and chips; indulge in a delicious brunch or sip on a refreshing smoothie at Have An Avo ; grab some pub grub at Alice House ; or venture to Rosemary Cafe & Juicery for a light lunch.

#west_hampstead
#walks
#unusual_things_to_do
#quirky
#outdoor
#hampstead
#free
%wnlondon
66657 - 2023-01-20 02:15:07

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