The Garden Guide

Book: London Parks and Gardens, 1907
Chapter: Chapter 10 Burial Grounds

Disused burial-grounds as gardens

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Probes on tombs are trifles vainly spent, A man's good name is his best monument. EPITAPH IN ST. BOTOLPH, ALDERSGATE. THE disused burial-grounds within the London area must now be counted among its gardens. There are those who would not have the living benefit by these hallowed spots set apart for the dead, but the vast majority of people have welcomed the movement which has led to this change. In some instances there is no doubt the transformation has been badly done. Here and there graves have been disturbed and tombstones heedlessly moved, but on the whole the improvement of the last fifty years has been immense. It is appalling even to read the accounts of many of the London graveyards before this reaction set in. The hideous sights, the foul condition in which God's acre was often allowed to remain, as revealed by the inquiry held about 1850, together with the horrors of body-snatchers, are such a disagreeable contrast to the orderly graveyards of to-day, that the removal of a few head-stones is a much lesser evil