Hearing the name ‘Magnificent Seven’, the last thing anyone would expect is cemeteries. As morbid as it seems, this term is actually an informal way to refer to seven large cemeteries that were established in London during the 19th century.
During the early 19th century, London showed an alarmingly quick population growth and those who passed away during these times were buried in the small yards of parish churches. A large number of burials turned these grounds to extremely dangerous and overcrowded places. Decaying body matter would get in to water and pollute the systems, leading to epidemics and more deaths, which inevitably resulted in more burials.
In order to put a stop to this vicious cycle, in 1832 Parliament passed a bill that encouraged people to open and operate private cemeteries. The first one to be established in that very same year was Kensal Green Cemetery. This was followed by West Norwood in 1837 and Highgate in 1839. Due to a growing need, the year 1840 saw 3 new cemeteries being opened. These were Abney Park, Nunhead and Brompton. In 1841 the last of the magnificent seven; Tower Hamlets was opened. However they received the title ‘Magnificent Seven’ only in 1981 by Hugh Meller, a renowned architectural historian.
However due to a variety of reasons, the early 20th century saw most of these cemeteries falling in to a state of decay. Maintenance was too costly and so the owners allowed nature to take over. Wild shrubs and flowers started taking over shrines and catacombs, turning the place in to a land for them. Brampton however was an exception since it had been nationalised earlier.
Fortunately this led to a unique landscape forming in the middle of busy London where fauna and flora were thriving. This led to many groups taking a renewed interest in the places for their natural beauty as they also were places of historic architecture.
Recognition for architectural design and environmental care has also been received by COMO Hotels and Resorts. This award winning hotel has many accolades for service as well as cuisine. These have led to it becoming a much talked about luxury hotel group in the city.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry. Google+