Places To Visit, Feature, by Lianne Alice

Spooky places to visit in the UK, with some interesting pictures…

LOCATION:
The graveyard is situated in the London borough of Bromley. The main entrance can be found along Elmers End Road, Beckenham. There is also a back entrance found at Harrington Road tram stop. It is also found in between South Norwood Country Park and Birbeck.

FIRST OPENED:
The graveyard itself opened in 1876 (although there is an argument that it was actually opened in 1880), the crematorium opened its doors in 1956.
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FAMOUS RESIDENTS:
Frederick Wolseley: Invented and developed the first commercially used sheep shearing machinery
William Walker: A famous British diver
WG Grace: Famous English Amateur cricketer
Frank Bourne: British soldier
Thomas Crapper: Plumber, founded the Thomas Crapper & Co in London
George Evans (VC): An English recipient of the Victoria cross
Josiah Stamp: The 1st Baron Stamp. He was a civil servant, industrialist, economist, statistician, writer and banker. He was also the director of the bank of England and chairman of London, Midland and Scotland railway.

ALSO KNOWN AS:
The park was initially known as Crystal Palace District Cemetery. It is sometimes still known as Elmers End Cemetery (due to how close the station is to it).

SIZE & LAYOUT:
There is over 12 hectares of land. The layout is quite simple; it is almost a rectangle shape.

THE WALKABOUT:
When I first go into a graveyard I like to start off in the oldest part if possible as this is what interests me the most. Luckily this one has their oldest part near the front entrance. They have lots of little alcoves and hidden pathways for me to explore. The sheer amount of bushes and trees for a start make you feel very much closed in. I say this all the time, but it’s a shame to see so many unkempt graves, no one should be forgotten. Although this adds to the look and feel of the place, it always makes me feel sad.
A lot of the gravestones tend to have statues on them (usually of angels). In the winter these look amazing, if not slightly serene and creepy. I found a lot of very interesting backgrounds such as a man who died trying to save his child or the old couple who died within hours of each other (I will not name names out of respect). You have a constant feeling of someone watching you, but it doesn’t scare me at all, I feel like I’m being watched over rather than watched.
There were once 2 chapels, but one got destroyed by fire during World War 2 and was demolished sometime in the 1960s. The one that still stands today is used at the crematorium and chapel of rest. The chapel has this beautiful gothic look to it and is covered in bright orange/red ivy. Next to the chapel is a dome shaped building containing the book of remembrance. The newer part, where the church and the crematorium is, has so much to see, but you have to be careful walking around as there are always services going on. I got chased out last time because they thought I was trying to be disruptive! As well as the hundreds of graves, there are also 2 well known memorials. One is the 128 World War 2 graves and the other is 21 members of the Beckenham auxiliary fire service. As you walk around the rest of the graveyard, you will notice the amount of willow trees, beautifully draped over the graves.The whole graveyard is closed in by rot iron gates, giving it that old gothic look.

ANY GHOSTS?:
As I walked around I could always feel several presences. No bad ones this time. Last time I was here I walked past a certain part and got a bad feeling, so I took a photograph. The picture had a very nasty looking sneering face in it, unfortunately, my computer crashed and I lost the photo. But here are some others I found. Feel free to make a judgment, I have had them looked over and they have been proved as real and nothing could be found otherwise to what they could have been:
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This one kind of looks like a monk
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It was snowing this day, but this was not a piece of snow.

FINAL (RESTING) WORD:
Not only is this my local graveyard but possibly my favourite. I prefer to visit it in the winter and I suggest that all of you do too! Check out the old part first as you will feel like you are going on an adventure! Just remember to remain respectful!! As I always say:
“Respect those who are not physically here, you can’t see them but they can see you, and disrespect is something they don’t want to see”

RATING: 4/5 – My local and my favorite, well worth a walk around, especially in the autumn.

LINKS: http://www.beckenhamcrematorium.co.uk

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