I had last been in Kensal Green in March 2013, and had never been too happy with the pics I had taken. To exacerbate matters, when I went “next door” to St Mary’s I had been caught in a snow storm and had had to abandon my expedition without finding the VC graves I was looking for originally. Kensal Green is an impressive place, and it is the sort of cemetery that you need a lot of time in because there is just so much to see.
Getting there is not too difficult. You grab the Bakerloo Line, change trains at Queens Park, then travel one station to Kensal Green. The cemeteries are both not even 200 metres away. Because St Mary’s Roman Catholic cemetery was more of a priority I headed there first. There were 3 Victoria Cross graves that I needed to find; these were the graves I had not found in 2013, and now I was armed with a description of each grave on top of the map I had gotten from Kevin Brazier in 2013.
The cemetery is a Roman Catholic one and it can be quite overpowering with the many mausoleums and statues. It is however quite large, but I did not venture too far from the main gate and chapel area.
The road from the entrance leads to this split, the building on the right is the chapel and one of the mausoleums is next to the pole. The Belgian War Memorial is on the path leading left.
There are enough mausoleums to fill a blog post, and some of them it is possible see inside because of clear or broken windows. Some are really beautiful inside, but I often wonder how many people actually go into them so many years after they were erected. Some are in a poor condition, but generally they seem to be in a sound condition.
Looking at my images now it is difficult to imagine a Victorian era funeral taking place here. It was established in 1858 so the funerals were not only a time of mourning but often a social event.
My personal favourite has to be this one.
My VC grave search went well and I was able to find all three graves in short order, although I kept on being distracted by statues and small details on graves. I cannot help it, that is how I am.
I have to admit she is beautiful, but I do wish I had photographed up into her face.
There are 318 CWGC casualties buried in the cemetery, although I did not go deliberately hunting them down as the cemetery has already been photographed; naturally now I regret not doing it. But, it is always a reason for returning one day.
The weather, which had been warm with slightly blue skies was changing, and I decided that I really needed to get next door and see what was going on there. So I made tracks for the exit, and will leave you with some random images.
And then it was time to head next door to Kensal Green (All Souls) Cemetery. I bade my farewells and walked down the lane, I felt much better now that I had had a chance to explore a bit of this place, unlike last time when I was more interested in keeping snow off my lens than anything else. Who knows, maybe one day I will return.
© DRW 2016-2018. Created 10/06/2016.