John Sergeant Meets Rab C Nesbitt TV - Bram Stoker - Percy Bysshe Shelley - George Carlin - Night on Film: An A-Z of the Dark TV - Nova: Story that Drowned a City TV - Arthur Brisbane - Jessica Sorenson - Kami Garcia - Henry David Thoreau - Britain’s Biggest Dig TV - Panorama TV -
John: What does this cemetery mean to you?
Rab: Nothing at all. John Sergeant Meets Rab C Nesbitt, BBC 2014
Never did tombs look so ghastly white. Never did cypress, or yew, or juniper so seem the embodiment of funeral gloom. Never did tree or grass wave or rustle so ominously. Never did bough creak so mysteriously, and never did the far-away howling of dogs send such a woeful presage through the night. Bram Stoker, Dracula
The cemetery is an open space among the ruins, covered in winter with violets and daisies. It might make one in love with death, to think that one should be buried in so sweet a place. Percy Bysshe Shelley, Adonis preface, 1821
Cemeteries: There’s another idea whose time has passed! Saving all the dead people in one part of town? What the hell kind of a superstitious religious medieval bullshit idea is that? Plow these motherfuckers up, plow them into the streams and rivers of America, we need that phosphorus for farming! If we’re gonna recycle, let’s get serious! George Carlin, Jammin’ in New York, 1992
Vampires: Highgate Cemetery officially opened in 1839 was once described as the most beautiful resting place in London. Colour film cited Night on Film: An A-Z of the Dark, BBC 2011
He armed himself with a cross and stake, and crouched between the tombstones waiting. ibid.
I think they’re nutcases. ibid. Highgate Cemetery groundsman, televised interview
The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds – the cemeteries – and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres – palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay – ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who’ve died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn’t pass away so quickly here. Nova: Storm that Drowned a City, PBS 2005
The fence around the cemetery is foolish, for those inside can’t come out and those outside don’t want to get in. Arthur Brisbane
The cemetery is my sense of comfort, my sanctuary in a world of darkness, the one piece of light that I have in my life. Jessica Sorensen
Why would you stick someone you love down in a lonely hole in the dirt? Where it’s cold, and dirty, and full of bugs? Kami Garcia, Beautiful Creatures
When the leaves fall, the whole earth is a cemetery pleasant to walk in. I love to wonder and muse over them in their graves. Here are no lying nor vain epitaphs. Henry David Thoreau
Euston Station in Central London: one of the capital’s biggest train terminals. Tucked alongside it is St James Gardens. On the face of it, an ordinary park. But look closer and you’ll find clues that there’s a hidden history here. An incredible window into London’s past. Because beneath these seemingly unremarkable gardens lies a vast cemetery, and now part of Britain’s biggest ever archaeological dig. Britain’s Biggest Dig I, BBC 2020
The huge excavations here at St James’s: it’s part of major investigations along the 150-mile route of HS2, the new high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham and beyond. But before a track is laid, archaeologists will investigate every hill and valley along the route. The law requires them to excavate and rebury any human remains. ibid.
The cheapest plots were in the east, and the highest status burials were in the west: closer to the chapel, closer to God. ibid.
We move up the line to another gigantic excavation to uncover how Victorian Birmingham grew into a boom town of the industrial revolution. Britain’s Biggest Dig II
London, Spring 2019: next to Euston Station the excavation of the 230-year-old St James’s burial ground is reaching its peak. Hundreds of archaeologists are unearthing the largest cemetery ever dug up in Britain. ibid.
During the Second World War this part of London was targeted by the Luftwaffe, and many bombs detonated in and around the cemetery. ibid.
Digs have already started along the route of HS2. Surveys indicate an important site awaits to be unearthed on average every mile along the route. ibid.
Summer of 2018: Next to the City’s famous Bullring, the Fox & Grapes pub, once part of a vibrant working-class community, is being demolished after it is being surveyed by archaeologists. Across the road lies the giant Park Street burial ground, where archaeologists face another huge task … excavations will range over five hectares … making way for the next platform terminus of HS2. ibid.
At the start of the eighteenth century Birmingham was a market town of just 15,000 people. ibid.
Birmingham: Rare grave goods and coins left on the bones are revealing much about these people’s origins, beliefs and living conditions. And several skeletons show evidence of having been dissected. Britain’s Biggest Dig III
This whole area is destined to become the new 7-platform HS2 railway station. But before construction can begin and to the east of the cemetery site, archaeologists are hoping to find further evidence of the oldest surviving railway terminus in the world. Next to Park Street stands the last remnant of Curzon Street Station. Opened in 1838, less than 10 years after the pioneering locomotive, Stephenson’s Rocket, made railways a viable form of transport. Its neo-classical architecture mirrored the original Euston Station long since demolished at the other end of the line. ibid.
Over the road Boulton built the world’s first factory to pioneer mass production. But by 1848 that factory had closed and few factories like it were built in the city … Birmingham became an industrial boom town but without the factory revolution that was the hallmark of so many other industrial cities. ibid.
Three years after the sale and the ‘cemeteries affair’ still haunts Lady Porter. Panorama: Lady Porter: The Pursuit of Power, John Ware reporting, BBC 1989