Rock Cemetery Mansfield Road Nottingham
Rock Cemetery
Mansfield Road Nottingham

For those of you who like to wander around a cemetery or two ...

... that doesn’t mean you are weird by the way ... lots of people like the solitude, the opportunity to be alone ... unobserved ... without prying eyes ... without prying, living eyes ... a chance to contemplate ... perchance to dream ... ay, there's the rub, for in this sleep of death what dreams may come…

OK. So maybe this has all started off a little on the dark side. The fact is that there are lots nice cemeteries to wander round and beyond the obvious, the grave stones, there are lots of things to see.

Often cemeteries are the only open, green, public spaces in an area. They are often the best places to find wildlife in the city, because despite the obvious reverences to death and all that, cemeteries are usually full of life. This is largely due to them not being too well maintained. Long grass helps insects. Unkempt corners lead to tree growth. Before you know it, nature will find a home in such places, making them an ideal place to spend a lovely spring day.

They are also great places of local history. The gravestones represent the community that lived there in days gone by. The names, the dates of birth and death, the years their lives spanned. All of this can feed the imagination. Stories, poems and songs can all come from a pleasant wander around an old graveyard.

Perhaps the best graveyard in Nottingham is Rock Cemetery, at the junction between Mansfield Road and Forest Road.

View of a Church Spire

Craving on a Grave Stone

Blue Bells

More Gravestones

Rock Cemetery

Rock Cemetery is a 13 acre confusion of gravestones of all sizes and shapes. Some plain. Some completely over the top. It is also set on a hill, which allowed it to be developed on several levels, including underground!

Nottingham Post article - 2014

In amongst it all there are paupers graves, graves of the very wealthy, graves of children, as well a few Commonwealth War Graves. It also contains old catacombs, which on very rare occasions, there have been tours around.

Catacomb tour

The site of the Cemetery lies beyond Forest Road. This was once the city boundary. Beyond it was common land that marked the beginning of the ancient Sherwood Forest. As such, this was the site for public executions. It is believed that the gallows stood here until 1800.

There are many tales of the condemned being driven up Mansfield Road, being allowed a last pint in the Nags Head, before finishing their journey at the top off the hill.

Not surprisingly, the place gained the name of Gallows Hill.

Gallows Hill

It became a cemetery in 1856, after the 1845 Nottingham Enclosures Act had removed common rights from the area north of the city allowing it to spread.

NottinghamEnclosures Act 1845

Now of course it is a much quieter place where you can watch the occasional copper tipped or peacock butterfly flutter by amongst the wild flowers, or catch one of the rather numerous squirrels scurrying up one of the trees or just listen to the sound of the birds doing what birds do.

Dawn chorus @ General Cemetery

Well worth a vist.

For the Love of George

 "They'll be painting the park fence soon. It could do with a new coat. They do it every now and then."

The woman from the reproduction antiques shop contemplates the state of the state of the park fencing opposite.

Well there isn’t much else to do.

Until one day George walks in to look at a reproduction Queen Ann desk.

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