The St. Pancras and Islington Cemetery is located in East Finchley, North London and is one of the largest cemeteries in the UK.
St Pancras Cemetery has a traditional style with a mixture of old and new graves covering some 190 acres. It was established in 1854, the burial chapel was built in 1854 but at the moment closed for refurbishment. All burial services are held in the Islington burial chapel.
This was the first publicly owned cemetery in London to be established after the 1852 Metropolitan Interment Act when the St Pancras Burial Board bought over 35 hectares of Horse Shoe Farm on Finchley Common.
The cemetery has a war graves plot containing over 100 graves from both world wars, together with a number of headstones retrieved from graves that were scattered elsewhere in the cemetery and could not be maintained. A memorial bears the names of 27 casualties whose graves could not be marked individually, and of six First World War casualties buried in adjacent Islington Cemetery who could not be commemorated there.
As it was such a lovely day I thought I would have a walk around the cemetery as it just a 10 minute drive from my house. It really is a beautiful and peaceful place. Now… I’m not a religious person at all, neither do I have a morbid fascination with cemeteries. I just love the peace and quiet that you get in places such as this. The cemetery is located right next to the North Circular in places but you would never believe it!
It really is a vast and sprawling place. Much of the cemetery is overgrown and neglected and to be honest virtually impassable in places but that simply adds to the charm and attraction of the place.
It was the first proper warm day of the year, the birds were singing, squirrels were running around and the cliche crows were crowing in the ancient trees. I walked around for about an hour and never came across another person. It’s a lovely place to get away from the noise and madness of North London.
There are thousands of gravestones & memorials in this cemetery including some huge mausoleums in places dating back from the 1850s
It certainly was a nice stroll to be had this morning in the warm February sunshine. I had been told that the place had become a little bit of a wildlife reserve and is home to many species of birds & has resident foxes. I have seen foxes in Highgate Cemetery a few times but alas I never spotted them here. I did however make a friends of an inquisitive cat that followed me around for sometime, wondering what I was up to..
If ever you are in North Finchley, London and fancy somewhere different to visit, you can certainly spend a few hours in this fascinating place.