Abney Park Cemetery
London's population reached a record high in 2015 – some 8.6 million people. But with so many lives, so come deaths.
[Photo: Fred Adams Photography]
An angel looks over Brompton Park Cemetery
In London's earlier years, Londoners buried their dead in local churchyards scattered throughout the capital. But between 1800 and 1850, the population of London suddenly doubled from one million to two million.
A statue in Abney Park Cemetery
And more people meant, well, more corpses. And London's churchyards were full to bursting, while Industrial Revolution-era sanitation and overcrowding meant public health was an increasing concern.
[Photo: Andrew Ridley]
Graves and graves and graves
Throughout the early 1800s, the Government ordered seven huge cemeteries to be built on what were then the outskirts of the city: Kensal Green, West Norwood, Highgate, Abney Park, Nunhead, Brompton and Tower Hamlets.
[Photo: Loz Pycock]
Summer in Brompton Cemetery
Since then, these 'Magnificent Seven' cemeteries have interred over 1.6 million Londoners who have shuffled off the proverbial mortal coil.
[Photo: Flamenco Sun]
Angel statues in Manor Park Cemetery
In each, there are large numbers of barely marked graves, interspersed with mighty mausoleams dedicated to the great and good of the Victorian era.
[Photo: Umbreen Hafeez, Real London Photos]
Catacombs at West Norwood Cemetery
In some cemeteries, such as Kensal Green and West Norwood, there are also catacombs.
[Photo: J Silver]
Graves engulfed by foliage at Abney Park Cemetery
Each cemetery has contended with overcrowding and commercial pressures. As a result, many have temporarily or permanently closed to new burials, and during times of insolvency, become wildly overgrown.
Trusts or 'Friends' groups now seek to maintain the cemeteries, but the eruption of greenery that took place during intervals of neglect remains, lending a gothic atmosphere to certain areas.
[Photo: Simon Hadleigh-Sparks]
Wilderness, Highgate Cemetery
These areas are also valued as natural urban habitats, home to a variety of bird species, foxes, and other animals grateful for a some decent undergrowth in the midst of the metropolis.
Spring blossom over Brompton Cemetery
In the warmer months, however, the plantlife can be quite colourful. Some areas are now used as general parks and even host events.
[Photo: Flamenco Sun]
With more than 20 individual kiosks offering an eclectic mix of East Asian cuisine all under one roof, Bang Bang Oriental is London’s biggest Asian food hall – and it’s just opened its doors in Colindale. Sure, it’s a little far out, but it’s totally worth the trip. With so much choice on offer, we’ve whittled it down to the five best dishes. Roast duck noodle soup at Four Seasons, £7.90 A layer of that famed crispy Cantonese-style roast duck on a bed of soupy egg noodles is a no brainer. Tip: ask for more of that sweet, salty sauce and pour it all over. Dolsot bibimbap at Janchi Korean Kitchen, £8.50 Coming in hot and heavy (seriously, those bowls are weighty) is this classic Korean stone-bowl bibimbap. Not only is the multi-coloured spectrum of vegetables sitting on top of fluffy rice pretty look at, but it’s also fun to mix and cook everything up before you dig in. With a choice of either veggie, beef, chicken or pork and topped with a runny egg, you certainly won’t get any mixed feelings about this one. Happy dim sum platter at Royal China One 68 Dim Sum, £7.80 With two kinds of dumplings – plump, crystal skin prawn har gau and juicy pork and shrimp shumai – and fluffy steamed cake on the side, this dim sum platter is the answer to your indecisiveness. Be sure to get some extra-silky prawn cheung fun rolls while you’re at it, too. Congee with fried intestine at Sukaria, £8.80 There’s nothing quite like a giant bowl of comforting congee (rice
Here are two facts that might brighten your day: 1) the official term for a group of pugs is a ‘grumble’ and 2) a pug café will open at The Book Club in Shoreditch on Saturday September 9, for one day only. The Pop Up Pug Café has already appeared in Brighton and Guildford, and now it’s east London’s turn to host these adorable snub-nosed hounds. The pugs of the capital are invited to bring along their humans for a day filled with puggy treats, ‘puggacinos’ and excessive doggy decor (humans can snack from a menu of avocado on sourdough, grilled toasties and cheesecake). The idea is to create a space where the pups will be treated like royalty. Aspiring dog owners are welcome too. It’s £5 entry for those with a pug and £10 for the pugless, with some of the dosh being donated to The French and Pug Dog Foundation. Pug-loving Londoners are already hunting for tickets, which can be booked in advance from 11am on Saturday August 19. We’ve had three years of the cat café and a day of coffee-drinking with crows, now it’s time for the grumble to shine. In the meantime, here are some pics of the Pop Up Pug Café in Brighton to give you an idea of what to expect: Excited squidgy faces Tiny underbites Pugly food critics Over-eager photo poses Coffee addicts And LOTS of tongue Not a pug owner? Try our inclusive guide to London for dogs.
Make the most of your weekend at a music and arts festival in Hackney, at a stationery-making workshop with Hato Press, or at the brand new Matisse show opening at the Royal Academy. Have a good one! CENTRAL Joan Snyder, New Squares, 2015, Courtesy the artist and Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York Photo Fionn Reilly Playground Structure, Blain|Southern, Fri-Sat, free. The art brought together in this little summer show unites artists from the ’60s through to today who mess with the grid format. Evita, Phoenix Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15-£85. Emma Hatton shines in one of Lloyd Webber’s best musicals, but the production feels a touch dated. Eastern Electrics, Morden Park, Sat, from £24.95. After three years luxuriating in rural Hertfordshire, premier dance festival Eastern Electrics is setting up home in a new London location. Indian Treasures, Getty Images Gallery, Fri- Sat, free. Mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence at the photo exhibition ‘Indian Treasures’, with images that capture some of the earliest photographic documentation of India. Matisse in the Studio, Royal Academy of Arts, all weekend, from £14. The approach here is to look at the great French innovator (1869-1954) through the prism of the junk he kept in his studio. Vases, masks, tables, that kind of thing. Shout Out Live Festival, Logan Hall, all weekend, free to £34.99. London’s most diverse podcast festival is bringing the best podcasts of colour from the US and UK to Bedford
The Diner at The Strand
As the name would suggest, expect to find a classic diner look and menu - think hot dogs, meat loaf, burgers and shakes.
Venue says: “Welcoming the Strand meal deal! Main course, side and a drink… £9.99. Ideal for a spot of speedy lunch, or a pre-theatre supper.”