Monday, 2 March 2009

A Trip To London - Part Three

We left Buckingham Palace, and headed up Constitution Hill towards Memorial Gates. These recognise the enormous contribution made in the First and Second World Wars by the five million men and women from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Africa and the Caribbean who volunteered to serve alongside the British Armed Forces.
This large, ornately carved memorial is in remembrance of the 49,076 people of all ranks of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, who gave their lives for King and country in WWI.

After crossing the road and skirting Hyde Park's entrance gates we headed into Knightsbridge, and naturally had to stop for a photo of the iconic Harrods department store, which was established in 1834, and carried the Royal warrant right up until 2000.

As we walked back towards Fulham, we noticed this marvellous Art Deco-style building, which clearly used to be a Michelin depot of some kind judging by the images of the rotund tyre-shaped Michelin man dotted about.. On further research back home, it turns out to be the former Headquarters of the Michelin Tyre Company, opened in 1911, and designed by Francois Epinasse, complete with 32 tiled panels showing scenes from the early history of motoring.

It is now a gorgeous open-air florists, combined with a very posh al fresco restaurant, serving fresh oysters and champagne.. "not for the likes of us!" as my husband always chuckles, heh heh!

As we continued along Fulham Road, we decided to take an amble through the wonderful Brompton Cemetery, opened in 1840, which is behind Chelsea FC's ground and not far from Earls Court.. I had noticed it before while walking in the area and thought it worth a mosey.. and it was not a disappointment!

The cemetery is beautifully kept, and as many historic and important people are buried there, a factsheet has been made available for £1, showing where various people's graves are.. unfortunately the little office was closed the day we visited.

Beatrix Potter famously lived nearby, and took many of her characters names from the names on the gravestones, such as Mr Nutkins, Jeremiah Fisher and Peter Rabbett.. yes, really!

Some 35,000 monuments, from simple headstones to substantial mausolea, now mark the resting place of more than 205,000 souls... There are so many lavish gravestones and tombs, with beautiful carved crosses, many in the Celtic style,

and at the Cemeterys' centre, stands a modest domed chapel, in the style of the basilica of St. Peter's in Rome,

and two long colonnades embracing the "Great Circle", which shelter catacombs underneath.
As you can see, Stamford Bridge - Chelsea Football Club's ground - just peeks through from the Fulham Road.

Famous people buried here include suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, author George Borrow, V&A founder Henry Cole, cricketer John Wisden, Egyptologist Joseph Bonomi, shipping magnate Sir Samuel Cunard, auctioneer Samuel Leigh Sotheby, and many poets, authors and playwrights..

.. and no less than 13 recipients of the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest award for military gallantry.

As we walked, ravens crowed overhead, squirrels danced playfully between the tree branches, and all was peaceful and calm in Nature's hands..

I was so pleased to see that the grave of Emmeline Pankhurst - Britain's leading suffragette - was tended so beautifully,

in tribute to such a brave and remarkable woman, ahead of her time.

More fabulous images of this wonderful, almost magical place, can be found at including a gorgeous selection of the Cemetery in all seasons, and all weathers, it looks particularly otherworldy covered in blankets of crisp, heavy snow.. join me tomorrow for my last London instalment! xx


  1. Lovely interesting blog with fabulous photos, loved the Michelin building and of course the lovely angels and crosses in the cemetaryxx

  2. Everything was great - thanks for the tour.