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  • Writer's pictureErin

The Cross Bones Graveyard

A disused burial ground in Southwark dating back to the post-medieval period, the Cross Bones Graveyard has a very interesting history...

Known as an "outcasts graveyard", this is believed to be the burial site for the Winchester Geese; medieval prostitutes who were licensed by the Bishop of Winchester to work in the brothels just outside the City of London.

It was closed in 1853 because it had reached capacity, and in 1996 the site was excavated in conjunction with the development of the Jubilee Line.

Bodies were found stacked on top of each other, and studies showed that many of the buried had suffered from tuberculosis, smallpox and Pagets disease; this area was one of the most poorest and disease-ridden slums.

Today the gates are decorated with ribbons, flowers, notes and other trinkets to commemorate the sea, and with the help of volunteers the garden is open from 1pm until 3pm on weekdays (plus some Saturdays).


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