Spooky British graveyards and cemeteries

Thursday 01 January 1970

Not just for Halloween - join us on a morbid tour of Britain’s most gruesome graveyards. Yes, graveyards. Surpisingly great places to relax, take some photos and soak up the local history.

Greyfriars churchyard by Nick in exsilio on flickr

St Mary’s, Whitby, England

Inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula and with a wild seaside setting, St Mary’s - right next to Whitby Abbey - has plenty of interesting graves. Don’t miss the weird nursery rhyme graves including an egg-shaped tomb for Humpty Dumpty and the grave of a young child marked as ‘Tom Thumb’.

Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow’s ‘city of the dead’ is a classic Victorian garden cemetery with elaborate mausoleums and tombs. Necropolis graves include crackers designed by Glasgow architects Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson.

Highgate Cemetery by i gallagher on flickr

Highgate Cemetery, London

If you want a moment’s respite from living London’s rattle and hum it’s the perfect place to come. Sprawling, wild and gorgeously gothic, some of its more famous guests include Karl Marx, Malcolm McClaren and Douglas Adams. Don’t miss the splendid funerary architecture of the West Cemetery, where highlights include the Egyptian Avenue and a life-like lion crowning the tomb of Victorian menagerie owner, George Wombwell. Highgate was also the home of the ‘Highgate Vampire’ who reportedly haunted the cemetery in the early 1970s.

Dog cemetery, Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

One of only two dog cemeteries in Scotland, this small patch with views from the castle over the city is the burial place of army officers’ dogs and regimental mascots. The pampered pets have been resting in peace here since 1746. You can’t go in but you can get a good view from the parapet above.

Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh’s famous Greyfriars graveyard is notorious for hauntings, grave robbing, executions and other scary stuff. Take a tour to enter the Black Mausoleum, layer of the malevolent Mackenzie Poltergeist. If you can’t take the chill explore the altogether cuddlier story of Greyfriars Bobby, the faithful terrier who sat on his master’s grave for 14 years.

Greyfriars Bobby by H4NUM4N on flickr

Eyam Parish Church, Peak District, England

In 1665, the small Derbyshire village of Eyam was hit by an outbreak of plague that killed 260 of its 350 inhabitants. The high death toll was, in part, due to the villagers’ courageous decision to self impose a quarantine to spare neighbouring villages. Villagers were forced to carve their own gravestones as the mason succumbed and a Mrs Hancock buried her husband and 6 children in the space of 8 days. You can see their graves today.


Images by Nick in exsilioi gallagherH4NUM4N on Flickr.

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