A Walk Around Woolwich Cemetery

It was noon when we arrived at Woolwich Cemetery, but the sky was grey on a cold and windy November day. It cast its shadows over untended graves, wedged between the shiny headstones, bodies blanketed in flowers and figurines.

Cemeteries are peaceful, still. They attract me for their mystery and their beauty. They are full of untold stories, half-finished lives, some only just started and others lived to the full.

This photo above is one of my favorites that came out of this walk. I think it tells a story. There’s something about it.

Cemeteries are places for contemplation, for conversation, for coming to the realization that life is only temporary and we should weigh our decisions in such a way because of it.

London is full of beautiful, old, crumbly, Victorian cemeteries, a juxtaposition of old and new, life and death.

This girl hanging off of the cross was particularly fascinating. There’s something desperate in her stance and I love the detail of her toes.

My favorite London cemeteries are Kensal Green Cemetery and Brompton Cemetery, funny enough both walking distance from places I used to live. The photos in this entry are all from Woolwich Cemetery, a new discovery for me.

Anyone know the name of these colorful plants? I’ve never seen them before.

Like all cemeteries in London, Woolwich Cemetery was full of little treasures, rich gold Arabic scripts scrawling across headstones, colorful flowers and peace.

We walked for a few hours, my cousin and I, just strolling slowly, taking care to read the messages inscribed on the stones, admiring the landscaping around some of the graves, commenting on figurines like the one in the photo above and talking about the diversity in the names and the languages.

Some of it I find haunting, but hauntingly beautiful. This photo above is one example of that. And this last one, well, it isn’t the greatest in terms of photography, but the message struck me. I will leave you with this.

What are your thoughts on Cemeteries?
Do you have a favorite in London?
Have you ever taken photographs there? 

20 comments on “A Walk Around Woolwich Cemetery

  1. The plants are heathers that have been artificially coloured, the colour will gradually fade as the plants grow. Usually sold in places like B & Q £5.00 for 3 approx.

  2. Cemeteries are my haven – I love them. I used to have a website called London Necropolis and am going to be setting it up again over Christmas. I’ve been photographing cemeteries for a few years now and had an exhibition of my Kensal Green photos at the Dissenter’s Gallery there.
    I’ve never been to Woolwich – I must go at some point. I’ve always loved the sculpture of the little girl holding onto a cross – it’s particularly popular here in SE London. http://polstar-photography.smugmug.com/Cemeteries
    Take care and have a great weekend!

    • Thanks for the link, Polly. Really interesting 🙂 There are a few on there I haven’t been to yet. Which cemetery is your favourite?

  3. This was a neat post – i like that you’re staying in my neck of the (work) woods and I get to see the places you explore. I don’t have much time to see the neat areas. Did you know that the London Ramblers are doing a walk from N Greenwich to Woolwich Arsenal in January?

  4. Nice post, haven’t been to Woolwich cemetery before, Highgate cemetery is oft touted as ‘the’ cemetery to visit in London. Karl Marx’s tombstone is in there somewhere, although I wasn’t able to find it!

    Have always wanted to goto Abney Park cemetery in Stoke Newington as well..

  5. I love cemeteries too, since I grew up with a mom who was a history buff and liked to do gravestone rubbings (with hard wax and special paper). New England cemeteries and fun, but the UK has much older ones of course. Found my great great grandfather’s stone in Selkirk a few years back, and somehow it creates a feeling of connection with past generations.

    Enjoy your blog – hoping to create one of my own as I venture to Vietnam for three months. Keep up the good work!

    • Hi Aimo, Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a thoughtful comment 🙂 I hope you enjoy Vietman. Why are you spending 3 months there? You should stop by and leave the link to your blog when you start it. I’d love to follow along.

  6. Pingback: Scents and Sounds of Brompton Cemetery | Little London Observationist

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