Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Cambridge Cemeteries

Ascension Parish Burial Ground

Hard to find due to the narrow lane off Huntingdon Road in the north west of the city, and a major roadworks upgrade ongoing when I visited, this is a well maintained, intimate cemetery. The BBC describes it as Britain's brainiest cemetery and I have to admit that while I noticed several Dons and other brainiacs I completely missed Ludwig Wittgenstein (probably because I'm not that much in to him).

It treads a very fine line along the "managed for nature, maintained for the populace" line striking, in my opinion, an almost perfect balance.

As I said small and intimate and a good start to the day.


Histon Road Cemetery

Established in 1843 by the non-conformist community, Histon Road Cemetery was one of only three in England designed by the leading Victorian garden designer J C Loudon. Now closed, it is cared for by Cambridge City Council working closely with the Friends of Histon Road Cemetery. As one of the best preserved examples of Loudon’s work the Cemetery is English Heritage grade II* listed.

It's well maintained but somewhat dull but having said that I did enjoy the east side hodgepodge of headstones.

 Histon Road Cemetery (1)

Cambridge City Cemetery

A municipal  burial ground with Jewish and Islam sections which brings a huge range of idiosyncratic headstones to the table. And then you come across the child plot - I stayed a while, prayed and walked away profoundly moved.

Whilst this is the burial ground for thousands of Cambridge ex-residents it is also the remembrance garden of  1024 WWI & II deaths - the largest CWGC site I'd seen to date and is a sight to remember.

 CWGC Air Force plot (6a)

Mill Road Cemetery

Grade II listed site (and nine individually Grade II listed monuments) and managed for wildlife this is a fascinating, if dog shit covered, cemetery and a lovely green space even on a mizzly November day. Also the most informative cemetery I've visited both on site and on their brilliant website.

My one caveat is that management for wildlife seems to have taken precedence over care of listed monuments in some cases:




Moyes family c1865 (1)


George & Sarah Kett


George Kett 1872 (2)

The American Cemetery

Not strictly a Cambridge Cemetery, it's in nearby Madingley, the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial site in England, 30.5 acres in total, was donated by the University of Cambridge. It lies on a slope with the west and south sides framed by woodland. The cemetery contains the remains of 3,812 of US military dead; 5,127 names are recorded on the Tablets of the Missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. Most died in the Battle of the Atlantic or in the strategic air bombardment of northwest Europe.

From the flagpole platform near the main entrance, the great mall with its reflecting pools stretches eastward. It is from the mall that the wide, sweeping curve of the burial area across the lawn is best appreciated. Along the south side are the Tablets of the Missing, and at the far end is the memorial with a chapel, two huge military maps, stained glass windows bearing the state seals and military decorations, and a mosaic ceiling memorial honoring the dead of the air forces.
Just. Do. It.

Lest we forget (12)

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