I thought I’d make the most of the nice weather last week and go for a wander to Bunhill Fields near Old Street. I knew there were some interesting people buried there, such as Daniel Defoe and William Blake – plus there’s a park bit where you can eat your sarnies.
It’s worth a look. The gravestones are suitably impressive and even though most of them are behind railings, if you go between 1 and 3pm from Monday to Friday, you can ask someone to let you have a gander or you can make an appointment on 020 7374 4127.
Even if you don’t get behind the railings, the Daniel Defoe…grave? tomb? monument? I can’t remember if it said his body was below it so I don’t want to get it wrong and say it’s one thing when it’s not..if you see what I mean. Anyway, one of those things. It’s quite impressive.
And the William Blake is out in the open too.
I ended up having a chat with the mason guy who was renovating one of the tombs. Turns out he goes round quite a lot of the burial grounds having to do this sort of work. Good job he knows what he’s doing. You have to try not to disturb the bricks on top. I should have asked why but I imagine it’s something to do with evil spirits like that the bit in the end of raiders of the lost ark.
One thing I never found out was the reason behind this small ready-to-burn wicker man funeral pyre. Sometimes it’s best to just not ask.
If you get time, you could also join this jaunt with a visit to the John Wesley Chapel which is just across the road. They have stained glass windows coming out of their walls and a very interesting etched window that I’ve never seen the like of before. Check it out. W
**UPDATE** Apparently there’ll be a series of free things going on at Bunhill this year. It’ll be based loosely on what happened there in 2012 but details are still to be finalised. According to the lovely lady at the open spaced department, you can keep up to date by checking here.