With 52 acres and nearly 300,000 burials, Southwark’s Nunhead is the second largest of London’s magnificent seven cemeteries. Join London historian and graveyard expert, CAROLINE SWAN on a guided tour around the gothic monuments of this “elegant wilderness”. The cemetery is the final resting place of the eight boy scouts drowned in the Leysdown tragedy in 1912. This disaster was a national sensation and the boys’ funeral procession was watched by a million people. Their memorial was designed by architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (who also responsible for the iconic red telephone box).
Caroline Swann will pay particular attention to how burial practices in London changed during the 19th Century, from squalid inner-city churchyards to landscaped garden cemeteries in the suburbs.
Caroline Swan is a London-based historian and author of the Flickering Lamps blog. She writes about the histories behind often-familiar buildings, parks and — of course — graveyards: a single grave or an unusual street name can often reveal strange, moving, and sometimes even disturbing stories about the past. Caroline is also currently working towards a PhD in London History at Birkbeck, University of London.