View Full Version : Nunhead Cemetery
11th February 2012, 02:13 PM
One of my favourite places near where I live is the Victorian cemetery at Nunhead. Many areas are old and abandoned, or have weird architecture for the tombs, or both. Today we had winter sunshine over snow that has not yet melted, so it seemed a great time to get some shots for this months challenge of 'Abandoned'.
11th February 2012, 03:22 PM
Some excellent photos and some interesting monuments.
Just curious, which nun's head is buried there?
13th February 2012, 04:59 AM
That made me go and do some research...
Apparently the district is named after a very old pub in the area, which is believed to have been named to commemorate a nun who was beheaded by Henry VIII during the dissolution of the monasteries.
There's an eclectic mix of styles and symbols there - the Victorians seem to have been very fond of Egyptian stonework, like obelisks in various sizes. One thing I did not realise for a long time was that almost all the 'broken column' monuments were designed that way, (much of the cemetery is run down, and neglected). Apparently this symbolises a life incomplete, and was often used for someone who died young.
Other symbols include snakes swallowing their tails, down turned torches, celtic crosses, shaking hands, and lots more.
I don't know if this specific graveyard was an inspiration, but it fits very well with the descriptons in Neil Gaiman's excellent "Graveyard Book"
13th February 2012, 10:15 AM
Ah, so there is a story behind "nunshead". An interesting tale it is too.