Throughout October 2016 and concluding on All Souls Day, we will be hosting The London Month of the Dead, investigating the capital’s relationship with its deceased residents. Events will include a tour of Hyde Park’s pet cemetery, a private view of the Museum of London’s bone archive, taxidermy workshops and a series of weekend death salons with talks on subjects ranging from public dissection and body snatching to reincarnation and funereal folklore. Each salon will feature a pair of speakers, authorities in fields such as osteology, forensic pathology and the paranormal, who will offer their own perspectives and insights on mortality in the city.
All the events will be hosted at the chapels in two of the capital’s great gardens of sleep, Brompton and Kensal Green. Both are part of the ‘Magnificent Seven’, the glorious septet of Victorian cemeteries that became showcases for neo-classical and new-Gothic architecture within six miles of St Paul’s Cathedral.
These historic spaces are suffering from neglect and our talks and workshops will run in conjunction with a fund raising appeal for the restoration of Brompton Cemetery, the 39 acre Grade 1 listed West London burial ground managed by Royal Parks. Twenty percent of all ticket sales will be donated to the conservation of this important site. The Heritage Lottery Fund has pledged a match funding campaign, meaning all donations will automatically be doubled in value and, once a total of £500,000 is reached, a further £3.7m conservation fund will be unlocked.
The London Month of the Dead has been curated by a Curious Invitation and Antique Beat to inform, entertain and provoke on the subject of death and London cemeteries.