Brompton Cemetery. The Place where I Travel Back in Time. And where I Accidentally Met Ann.
I live about 10 minutes walk from the Brompton cemetery. I realized that one day when I was going to go to see the Stamford Bridge, the football (soccer) stadium.
Cemeteries catch my eye. Fascinate me somehow. I feel drawn to them. I can walk around for hours and just look at gravestones and dream away and try to make up in my head the life that people buried there must have had when they were alive.
Coming across history.
Today I came across a grave that I probably have passed by loads of times before. Passed by and probably seen, but have not read the actual inscription on.
It says "Ann, departed june 10th 1860, 83 years of age". When I saw it, there was something that led me to stay and just stare at it. Then I started counting in my head. She was 83 when she died in 1860. 1857, she turned 80 years old. 1877 she would have turned 100.
She was born 1777. Do you realize how long ago this was? She was born before the French revolution. She was almost a teenager when it happened.
I wonder what London would have looked like when she was alive. Before the cars and the underground system, I even think that I read somewhere that when the cemetery became a cemetery, it was situated outside of the city. London must have been alot smaller by then.
She got stuck in my head.
I finally caught myself standing in front of this grave, and I must have stared into blank nothing. I had to move on, continue walking. And I did. I ended up sitting down at the churchyard, but I couldn't get the thoughts out of my head, who would this woman have been? What would she have looked like? Why was she all of a sudden stuck in my head?
I tried to "walk her out" of my head doing some rounds at the cemetery, looking at other graves, but it just made me feel I wanted to go back again to her grave. Like I needed to see it again, such an old grave with a person that had been born so long ago. The problem was, that I couldn't really remeber where on the cemetery I had seen it.
I managed to retrace my steps, and walk the same way as I had done before, but backwards. Or well, not literally backwards, I walk forward and backwards at the same time. Or, yah, you understand.
It was easier than I thought. At the end, I found the grave again, and I felt I had to take a picture of it. I felt good somehow that I had found it. I realized Ann, was buried with her husband. His name was Benjamin. He had died the year after her, 1861.
When possible, I want to figure out more about her. More about them. I want figure out what the city must have looked like when they lived here, what their everyday would have looked like. I wonder where I could find out more about them, where they lived, did they have kids?, what did they work with? Maybe someday I will find out something about them. Maybe not. Today I don't know. But what I do know, I want to go back to the house and google what London was like in the late 17- and beginning of 1800's, when these people were alive...