Monday, 19 September 2011

Cross Bones Graveyard, Southwark

Cross Bones Graveyard Plaque, worth a visit. Read on my lovely followers.

A great day exploring London.

I'm always a regular walking around the Borough and Southwark area and although I new of the Cross Bones Graveyard I had never actually visited the site. The memorial will now play a big part in my London walking tours.

My morning started by taking a quick visit to Monmouth Coffee for a quick fix, interesting to see some early birds in the Market Porter pub having a swift pint. I walked down pasted Neals Yard Diary, spotting a Banksy stencil on my way. (However, not sure if its an original, its quite new, I think an imposter!)

Banksy Stencil at Borough Market. "Laugh now, but one day we will be in charge". Real or Fake?
I came to Red Cross Way and found the memorial 30 seconds down the road on the left.

The Cross Bones Graveyard is a unconsecrated burial ground that holds up to 15,000 bodies of "Single Women", or as we woud call them, prostitutes and known locally in the area as "Winchester Geese", this was a name given as the ladies were licensed to work within the Liberty of the Clink by the Bishop of Winchester. The Geese part of the term comes from the Geese Broth that the Bishops would regulary cook, hence the name and why the Brothels were called 'Stews'.

The Graveyard soon became a free for all for the poor of the area with not only prostitutes being buried there but also beggars and paupers. The age of the graveyard is unknown but there are references to it in the mid 16th Cent.

Today it is a memorial to the forgotten dead. The memorial (which is more of a shrine created by locals) is a disturbing reminder to our suffering past, the people that walked the London streets and the horrific lives they must of lived.

The shrine to the 'Outcast Dead'. Passers by and locals leave messages.

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