N is for Nunhead Cemetery & Nowhere Else

Welcome to the A to Z challenge, a blog post everyday of April apart from Sundays, covering every letter of the alphabet. My theme is travel, that thing that we haven’t been able to do over the last 12 months, so it seemed appropriate to reminisce about past travels we’ve taken, looking forward to when we can travel freely again.

Today I’m managing to sneak in another graveyard, because I just couldn’t resist it, and another place in Tasmania with a very strange name.

Wherever we go on holiday I always look to see if there are any old graveyards near where we’re staying, as I think they’re a great way to learn more about a place. Nunhead Cemetery in south London is one of the magnificent seven Victorian graveyards that form a ring around the city. They were built when overcrowding in London’s churchyards had reached breaking point, and Nunhead was consecrated for burials in 1840.

At the entrance are these upside down torches which are a common symbol in graveyards. It is upside down to represent death, but despite being upside down the flame still burns which represents eternal life.

If you’ve read my post for the letter L, you may remember that I mentioned dragging my beloved to an open day in a cemetery, well this was it. Every year the friends of Nunhead cemetery put on an open day with all sorts of activities set up amongst the tombs, including a lovely spot for coffee and cake, and guided tours. There were market stalls, a birds of prey demonstration, and a group of bodgers demonstrating their craft (bodgers are skilled woodsmen who work with freshly cut wood to create chairs).

The wonderful thing about most of these old graveyards is that they are now wildlife habitats as nature has been allowed to take over.

Reported on the Friends of Nunhead website is that in 2007 a survey discovered at least 207 different varieties of insects call this special place home. One of the stalls we visited was all about bees and how important they are to all of us, and of course they love all the wildflowers in the graveyard.

Here are some photos showing how beautiful the headstones and tombs look with nature surrounding them. The graveyard covers 52 acres and has such a peaceful feeling as you walk around it. During our wander we discovered an Australian war graves cemetery, and as I always do, I walked past every one of the headstones to read their names – I always feel for these young men that ended up so far from home.

We loved this headstone for the actor Calvin G Simpson – even from a distance I would’ve guessed his occupation.

Another great thing we discovered whilst exploring was a small art exhibition set up in a mausoleum which could only hold two people at a time – it was fabulous. When we made it back to the market there was a choir performing in the ruins of the Anglican chapel – it was so lovely, they were doing traditional folk songs and we even got to join in with some of them.

You may have thought from the title of the post that I hadn’t thought of another place beginning with N, but no, my home state of Tasmania has come to the rescue again with one of it’s many weird place names. We’ve already had B is for Bagdad, and now we have the area in the north of the state with the name Nowhere Else.

Supposedly this is because the road used to end in a field and people would say it goes nowhere else, and the name stuck. The road does now go further, including to the Promised Land – this is a genuine signpost with real place names.

My favourite weird name in Tasmania is a road not far from where my mum lives, called Murdering Gully Road.

Do you have any weird or funny place names where you live?

Thanks for stopping by and make sure you visit other bloggers who are crazy enough to be doing the challenge with me – Click Here to visit the master list of participants.

Stay safe and have a good day.

Previous A to Z posts:

2018 – N is for Nature

2017 – N is for Nairn

2016 – N is for Nature

6 thoughts on “N is for Nunhead Cemetery & Nowhere Else

  1. What an interesting cemetery! I like the symbol of the upside down torch.

    And what fun names for towns!! We moved to Arizona (USA) three years ago and I like the name of the town where my cousin lives… it’s called Surprise. When we lived in Tennessee, there were all sorts of funny names for towns. My favorite was Lick Skillet.

    Liked by 1 person

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