Photographing Plumstead Cemetery

Cemetery Road

Not far from the horses in yesterday’s entry is Cemetery Road.

Plumstead Cemetery

It leads to the entrance of Plumstead Cemetery, one I had not explored until last weekend.

In 1898

Some of the graves were ancient, from the late 1800s (though I know there are much older graves elsewhere in London… where’s the oldest cemetery you’ve been to?)

Rupert the Bear

Sadly, there were quite a few graves of children here, including a section of all babies through a little archway with Christmas decorations hanging down.

In Thought

It was a thoughtful place, but also bustling with people visiting graves, some solemn, others chatting away with their neighbours.

Early Spring?

We found a tree in full blossom, as if it were confused about the seasons, defying Winter with its signs of Spring.

Sleep with the Angels Darling

You wonder sometimes how people so young can die. This girl above was only 10…and there was a photograph of her on the headstone in all of her giggling blonde brilliance.

Forever in Our Hearts

This one had a little guard dog.

Fallen Flowers

It’s been a windy week and many flower pots (or milk and soda bottles in this case) had blown over.

Lucky Bamboo for the Afterlife

There was a Vietnamese section where people had left incense for their relatives who had passed on and stalks of bamboo for luck.

Time for Tea

A lot of families had left Christmas cards on graves, decorated little Christmas trees with ornaments or lit an “eternal” flame.

Cemetery Candle

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?