Obscura Day 2015: Inside the Catacombs of West Norwood Cemetery - Atlas Obscura
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Greater London, England

Obscura Day 2015: Inside the Catacombs of West Norwood Cemetery

Join us for a tour of the beautiful memorials and historic catacombs of West Norwood Cemetery.

Lesser known than some of London's other "Magnificent Seven" Victorian era park-cemeteries, West Norwood holds some of the city's most beautiful memorial monuments and some of its oldest trees.

Once also known as the South Metropolitan Cemetery, the Gothic Revival burial ground is now part of English Heritage's National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. The cemetery was built between 1832 and 1841 during the establishment of new park-like burial grounds outside of the city limits. The site selected had once been the Great North Forest, by this time with only a few trees standing. Some of these ancient trees were left standing in the new cemetery, and have recently been dated back as far as the 16th century.

Join us on Obscura Day for a tour of West Norwood Cemetery's historic monuments, complete with access to the catacombs--a series of underground vaulted corridors containing coffins on shelves, under the site of the now-demolished Episcopal Chapel, built in 1837. At the centre is a hydraulic coffin lift manufactured by Bramah & Robinson in 1839.


Saturday, May 30; 10:30am - 12:30pm

Ticket Cost: £7
Ticket price includes a one-year membership to Friends of West Norwood Cemetery, which is required to participate in the catacombs tour. All attendees will be contacted via email shortly after registration to complete the membership process.

Meet-up will be just inside the stone arch at the main cemetery entrance, Norwood Road, SE27

Please wear appropriate footwear, and keep in mind that access to the catacombs is physically a little difficult, over rough ground, through dense vegetation, and down steep curving stone steps.