Monday, June 27, 2011

Cemeteries of London: Brompton Cemetery Part II

Below are different views of a some of my favorite angel statues at Brompton Cemetery: cherubic child angels.

It was an overcast day, so the sky was close to white. I was shooting with my lensbaby camera lens, allowing me to focus on different details in each image. With these detailed carvings, I like how the soft focus can almost make it seem as if the angels are about to take flight...


Monday, June 20, 2011

Cemeteries of London: Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery is one of the "Magnificent Seven" Cemeteries in London. It's the most central, walking distance from Earl's Court tube stop (and also the West Brompton tube stop, but I've never found myself on that line). It has a beautiful long, narrow layout with a central path lined by trees, creating the feel of a serene park. Intricately carved stone angels sit atop many of the graves.

Beatrix Potter once lived near the cemetery, and she apparently got the ideas for her character names from the gravestones at this cemetery. One of the names on an old headstone here: Peter Rabbitt.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Cemeteries of London: Highgate Cemetery Part II

Moving on from last week's photographs of the angels of Highgate Cemetery, here's a second set of atmospheric Highgate Cemetery photos.

Highgate is a sprawling Victorian cemetery in north London that was opened in 1839. The population of London had exploded, and Parliament dictated that several new cemeteries be created in the 1830s and '40s. In addition to Highgate, the new cemeteries were Kensal Green, West Norwood, Abney Park, Brompton, Nunhead, and Tower Hamlets. (I'll be posting photos from Abney Park and Brompton later this month.)

Highgate Cemetery is said to have inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula, and in the 1970s rumors abounded about the "Highgate Vampire," creating a new urban legend. The entrance to the Egyptian avenue of vaults, directly below, shows how such rumors of vampires could be believed...

I didn't notice at the time that this photograph of me taking photographs had been taken.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Cemeteries of London: Highgate Cemetery Angels

In the spring of 2008, my mom was a visiting professor in London. The opportunity to visit was too good to pass up. This is a photo of us in front of her Islington flat.

One of the things I did on that trip was to visit London cemeteries. I'd previously been on a tour of Highgate Cemetery, but I hadn't gone further in my exploration of the city's historic cemeteries. In addition to their mystery, I love the peace and beauty of old cemeteries. So on this trip, in addition to returning to Highgate I went on walks through Brompton Cemetery, New Southgate Cemetery, and Abney Park Cemetery.

This month I'll be posting photos from my 2008 visits to these London cemeteries.

Below are angels from Highgate Cemetery. Next week I'll post other views of Highgate Cemetery along with some history.