7 secrets of Abney Park Cemetery

As you know, Abney Park Cemetery is part of the Magic Seven of London's cemeteries. It would seem that the cemetery is rather sad and, frankly, a bit of a frightening place. Nevertheless, the secrets and mysteries of Abney Park Cemetery are guaranteed to attract your attention. Abney Park Cemetery is the home of the London apostates, tamers of lions and rare insects.

1. The tamer and the Salvation Army. You will probably think of a lion which stands in Abney Park. A huge marble cat guards the peace of Frank Bostock and his wife Suzanne. Bostock opened the wildlife of Africa and Asia to the English in the Victorian era. He was a lion trainer from the age of 15. Frank survived the attack of the lion and the tiger. His finger was bitten off by a gorilla. But he died because of the flu.

William and Catherine Booth are also buried here. They founded the Salvation Army, and their family place at the cemetery is near Church Street, and the Salvation Army sign marks these graves. Ironically, at the cemetery there are many burials of homeless people.

2. The immortal peace of the church apostates. When the cemetery was opened in 1840, rebels and those who refused the Anglican church and did not stand side by side with ordinary Christian churches were buried there. There is the oldest non-church chapel in Europe in Abney Park. The architect William Hosking considered the design of the chapel for a long time. He decided that there should be no connection with Christianity in it. The first stone was laid on the cemetery opening day.

3. Entertainment of the dead. Abney Park, perhaps is the most "fun" cemetery in the world. Here you can stumble upon the graves of many Victorian comedians, mimes and other comics: Albert Chevalier; a songwriter, who often pretended to be men, Nellie Power; and the famous comedian and star of "Dame of Drury Lane" Herbert Campbell. Also George Leyborn known for the song "Champagne Charlie" is buried here. He extolled the delights of a rich life, but died in poverty.

4. The role of the cemetery in pop culture. In the clip “Back to Black” of the famous singer Amy Winehouse, there are frames with the cemetery

5. The house of a 170-year-old bush. Abney Park Cemetery is not just cemetery, but a place where there are rare plants. Architect John Hoskins and horticulturist George Loddizs tried to create a place, in which graves would "fit" into the environment. And here still grows a 170-year-old tea holly. In addition to it, you can find Pocota personata, rare butterfly Adela reaumurella, and ground bee that is not often found in Britain.

6. Fire and lightnings. It can hardly be assumed that fires can often occur at cemeteries. But Abney Park has not been left without this item in its history. One fire destroyed several trees in the 1890s. On the avenue of Sir Isaac Watts, a lightning struck the birch. After that, a deep cut on the trunk remained on the tree. The central chapel burned down in the 1970s. The last 40 years, it was empty, and now it is being restored.

7. Do not pick up mushrooms at the cemetery. It is better not to touch the mushrooms in Abney Park. Edible plants contain arsenic, which was used for embalming bodies. And the mushrooms are full of lead. It was used to make coffins. Oh, this tough Victorian era.

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