The Magnificent Seven - London's Victorian Cemeteries

Project Statement
Cemeteries have, for centuries, played an important role at the heart of our local communities. Today this role is under threat due to a shortage of funds for their upkeep. Cemetery land is becoming overgrown and monuments have been eroded by the elements, damaged by vandals and are falling into disrepair.

The purpose of this project has been clear from the outset. It is to highlight these developments by showing photographs of our heritage and in doing so demonstrate the importance and value of its protection. Making photographs also provides me with a mechanism, through their sale, to raise charitable donations for those organisations that protect what we have. My photography has, therefore, become a means of helping me achieving my purpose in life: to leave the world a better place than I found it.

Historic Background
London’s Magnificent Seven Victorian Cemeteries were built between 1832 and 1841. Their creation reflected a need for new burial grounds, for London’s dead, outside the City’s borders. They not only provided new forms of commemoration for the dead but, through private ownership, in perpetuity, allowed families to bury their dead knowing that they would not be disturbed.

Cemeteries have always played roles that are central to our communities. These have evolved over time to include provision of urban parks, wildlife and nature reserves, gardens of rest and still, in some cases, locations that remain open for interments. In each case, they play an important role in our communities, one that has evolved over centuries and is still worth protecting today.

Indeed, for thousands of years, cemeteries have connected current and future generations to those of the past. Today this role is under threat due to a lack of money for their upkeep. My intent, in undertaking this project, has been to produce and sell images to help close this funding gap. My audience is local families, communities and the Friends Societies that support the Magnificent Seven cemeteries.

27th June, 2017