Kensal Green Cemetery

Kensal Green Cemetery

Kensal Green Cemetery is an obvious place to visit during a trip to London, especially if you are a taphophile.

Our reason for visiting London, was to see an exhibition of some of the late Sir Simon Marsden‘s beautiful photography. Green and Stone were responsible for hosting the event and I enjoyed it immensely.

Of course, while in London, one has to take the opportunity of visiting one of London’s greatest cemeteries. Before I begin with showing you my photographs, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight Sir Simon Marsden’s photography.

Sir Simon Marsden

Official Site:

If you follow my work regularly, you will know what I think of the photographer, Sir Simon Marsden.  Even though we lost this great man in January 2012, his memory and work will never be forgotten. He still is the greatest photographer of spooky buildings and architecture that ever lived. Thus, he is still inspiring me and a lot of other photographers around the world. Therefore, please visit his official website the Marsden Archive by clicking here. You are most definitely in for a treat.

Visiting Green and Stone

When I attended Green and Stone on November the 2nd, 2016, I remember the feelings of overwhelm so much. I was meeting his widow Cassie and I got the opportunity to purchase the final signed copy of his book, The Twilight Hour.

More importantly, it seems like fate that I was the one to purchase it. This is because it was his documentary by the same title that I first saw Simon’s work. I remember vividly his mesmerising voice and his imagery. Thus, I was wonderfully watching in awe. Furthermore, at that moment, I knew that I wasn’t alone with my fascination for this subject.

Some of his signed work was also available to purchase. However, I remember going outside three times and just staring in awe at his image, Gothic Window, pictured below. The reason I visited Ireland in 2015 was because of Simon’s photography and The Twilight Hour DVD.

Gothic Window, Castle Bernard
Gothic Window, Castle Bernard photographed by Sir Simon Marsden

On a final note regarding Simon’s photography, his technical ability to take photography using infrared film and develop it, is outstanding. His technical skill and love of this genre makes him the worlds finest photographer. Once more, please, go and visit his official website, Simon Marsden and feel free to comment below with your thoughts. I find his photography to be totally awe inspiring.

The General Cemetery of All Souls, Kensal Green

Kensal Green Cemetery was initiated by the barrister George Frederick Carden following his visit to Pere-Lachaise in Paris. The first funeral took place in January 1833 and the cemetery still conducts burials and cremations to this day. Furthermore, it is one of London’s magnificent seven cemeteries and I can certainly see why. It is beautiful and has a calming atmosphere with many magnificent tombs to see.

Griffon (Gryphon) Tomb of William Holland

Firstly, the most incredible tomb I come across belongs to William Holland. In his lifetime, he was a well known furniture manufacturer as well as being an undertaker. He is also known for partnering with Thomas Dowbiggen who once supplied furniture to the royal family. Clearly there is just so much to take in on magnificent dedication to a once great man. Of course, I’m presuming this because of the grandeur that is obviously lavished upon his memory.

William Holland Sarcophagus of Kensall Green Cemetery
William Holland Sarcophagus of Kensall Green Cemetery

On this family tomb, we see three roundels that are separated by inverted torches that have meaning. These torches are representing the extinguishing of life but also, life in the next realm.

When observing the stone sarcophagus, we can see eight griffons or gryphons supporting it. Thus, many believe a griffon to be a symbol of protection. Furthermore, we can begin interpreting them as symbolising the sun and life everlasting, even in death.

Angel on Sarcophagus
Angel on Sarcophagus
Angel on Sarcophagus
Close up of Angel on Sarcophagus

In addition, you will find on each corner of this sarcophagus, an angel. Hence these angels are more than likely guarding the deceased and symbolising spirituality.

A couple of hours spent in Kensal Green is not enough time to explore this amazing cemetery. Additionally, below I’m including other photographs taken and I hope to return here sometime soon.

Kensal Green Cemetery