Bunhill Row

My weekend gym (so what, I'm spoiled, I have a weekday gym and a weekend gym) is located on Bunhill Row, which I always thought was the most endearing name.  Any word or phrase with "bun" in it sounds cute: bunny, bun-in-the-oven, honeybunny, snugglebunny...you get the picture.  

Today I had a bit of time after class, and walked a little further down Bunhill Row, past the gym, and found Bunhill Fields, an unconsecrated burial ground that "opened for business" in 1665 and was a non-conformist and dissenters' cemetery until the mid-ninteenth century.  Ir dawned on me then that in this context, "bun" is not so cute-what it really means is "bone": Bonehill Row.  After doing some research when I got home, I found out it's even more not cute (wait, is that English?): Bonehill itself was created when bones where carted by the thousands from St. Paul's charnel house sometime in the 16th century and literally just piled on the moor and covered with a layer of topsoil.  There were so many bones that it actually formed an elevation: a bone hill.  I am a bit alarmed that, given the proximity of my house to Bunhill Row, I might actually live on the biggest pile o' bones ever, which would greatly increase the risk of zombie attack if I stay at this flat.  I wonder if you can get insurance for that?

Bunhill Fields was opened as a park in 1869.  Just wandering around for five minutes, I found the graves of John Bunyan, Daniel de Foe and William Blake (Blackberry photos below).  Many other famous radicals are buried there, according to Wikipedia, but I'll have to go back and do a bit more scouting to find some of them.  This is an excellent adventure for the girl who, as a child, used to willingly take people on tours of Ross Bay Cemetery...

The inscription on Bunyan's tomb.
Bunyan's Tomb.
My Blackberry didn't capture the inscriptions on some of these "family" graves, but there were entire generations, sometimes more than one generation, listed on one tombstone...