Give me grass and dappled shade, peace, quiet, and the crumbling of graves.
(heart you oxford comma!)
A few … weeks? months? days? I forget ago, I dragged Craig on an adventure.
An adventure to a graveyard. I bribed him with cupcakes.
We trekked and trekked and fought our way around building sites to find Old St Pancras.
In the graveyard is one of the only two Grade I listed tombs in London.
Sir John Soane, he of the jumbled and fabulous free museum, designed it and had it built at the death of his wife. Now he and his son are also there entombed and it has become quietly celebrated.
Sir Giles Scott used it as a base for his design for the iconic red telephone kiosk.
Can you see it?
And my favourite find, the beating heart of my adventure was the Hardy Tree.
Thomas Hardy (he of Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the d’Urbervilles) was an architect before he was an author and around 1865 he was tasked with the exhumation of human remains and the dismantling of tombs in Old St Pancras in order to make room for the Midland Railway line.
He moved gravestones and placed them around a tree. And then apparently they were forgotten about. Now, 142 years later they are being reclaimed by the earth. Absorbed into the tree they surround.
It’s not small either …
I may have been slightly obsessed by it.
My favourite shot. The sun hitting the headstones.
Older than (James Cook’s) New Zealand!
After sitting in the sun and eating cupcakes (pink! with sprinkles!) we walked hand in hand around the graveyard and I broke off to take photos of my favourite headstones.
Crumbling, old, Miss Havisham graves really are my favourite.
I ended up muddy-kneed but happy.
Poor eyeless puppy.
p.s. Two recent google searches that lead to this little explosion of my mind:
Crossing Stephen’s that is my green
photos college girls lying on beds