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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Monday, 7 August 2017

Crossbones Graveyard












I first mentioned the Crossbones Graveyard in 2012 and thought it would be a good idea to see if it still existed. There has been so much construction work in this area that I thought it might have been swallowed up by one of the big developers.
To my surprise the gates were still there festooned with ribbons and various other bits and pieces, but through the gates I could see a garden and went around the corner to see if I could visit.




Crossbones Graveyard is a post medieval burial ground and now, instead of it being a small area of wasteland, it is a community garden opened and maintained by volunteers.

It's  estimated to hold the remains of 15,000 paupers, more than half of them children. This was the Single Women's churchyard for the 'Winchester Geese'.


The Geese were women licensed by the church to work in brothels.




Since 1996 the friends of Crossbones have worked to protect Crossbones and raise awareness  of its historical, cultural and spiritual significance. From 2006 to 2012 they worked alongside the 'invisible gardener' to create a secret guerrilla garden.



Since 2015 they have collaborated with Bankside Open Spaces Trust to maintain a community garden of remembrance on the site of this ancient burial ground.











This is known as the pyramid and is embedded with oyster shells from nearby Borough Market.

Oysters were not taxed and were cheap to buy making them a staple part of a pauper's diet.
No doubt many property developers would love to get their hands on this extremely valuable piece of land so well done to the Friends of Crossbones for all their hard work in turning this into a garden of remembrance.

Sharing with Our World Tuesday


22 comments:

  1. What a powerful post. I've not heard of any of this before. 'Winchester Geese'! How extraordinary.

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  2. What a lovely place and love fences with the ribbons ~ great photos and filled with history and current too ~ ^_^

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  3. That's a great story of how the gardens came into being. Good work on the organization's part for keeping this bit of history preserved.

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  4. Such history. I hadn't heard of Winchester Geese. I wonder who actually owns the site? Hopefully it is the Crown.

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  5. A story of success!
    Makes me want to find out more... which I will now do.

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  6. I've never heard of the gate nor garden but loved the history.

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  7. I also hope it remains a memorial garden. Thank you for introducing me to this amazing place. :-)

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  8. Superb, I'm sure English Heritage could claim it as a site of historical importance and stop any development happening. Long may it stay the way it is.

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  9. What a touching story of the community to keep this place alive.

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  10. 'licensed by the church'

    don't it make you want to upchuck

    Love to the volunteers

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  11. That is a very fascinating piece of history that would be lost if not for their efforts and yours featuring it on your blog.

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  12. I'm glad they're keeping it undeveloped.

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  13. I had long wanted to visit Crossbones and finally did earlier this year - not got round to writing about it yet. It's a fascinating place - so many sad stories behind it. Great post and photos.

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  14. Beautiful area..

    Please visit: https://from-a-girls-mind.blogspot.com/

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  15. A very interesting post, and I see from some of your previous posts you have spent a bit of time in the North, it dosn't always rain honest, well a little bit.
    Thank you for looking in on me, and all the best, Gordon.

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  16. Wonderful coverage. That gates with ribbons are interesting.

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  17. This place was very moving. Made me both sad and angry. I thought maybe plans I read about several years ago would have changed it but it looks just the same.

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  18. I agree. Well done to those who have saved this important place.

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  19. Interesting post and lots of aspects captured through your camera lens! A nice weekend!

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  20. I'm so glad it's still there -- an important part of our history to remember. The Winchester Geese (licensed!) ... how fascinating. I could read 'a woman out of the street' on that one banner in the first picture. It was interesting that oysters were pauper's food! But every word and picture were fascinating! Thanks for this tour!

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  21. What an interesting place.

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