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Gravest Hits: Five of London’s best final resting places

Posted at 3:30 pm, June 26, 2014 in Fun London

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1. Frank C Bostock, died 1912

Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington High Street, N16 0LH
Bostock was a lion-tamer, hence the huge beast that guards his grave in this Stoke Newington necropolis. He was mauled by several animals throughout his career. However it was a fatal bout of the flu, rather than a big-cat attack, which finally carried him off.

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2. Horatio Nelson, died 1805
St Paul’s Cathedral, St Paul’s Churchyard, EC4M 8AD
After dying a hero’s death at Trafalgar, Lord Nelson’s body was pickled in brandy, shipped home and shuttled from casket to casket until a suitable one was found. He came to rest in a sarcophagus intended for Cardinal Wolsey.

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3. William Blake, died 1827
Bunhill Fields, 38 City Rd, EC1Y 1AU
After dying from copper poisoning, one of our most acclaimed poets and artists was laid to rest in a bargain 19-shilling grave. Buried over four existing bodies, Blake had four more piled on top of him within weeks.

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4. Thomas Hardy, died 1928
Westminster Abbey, Broad Sanctuary, SW1P 3PA
The ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ author wanted to be buried in Dorset but others thought he should be interred in Poets’ Corner. So, his heart is in Dorset (above) while the remains of his remains are in Westminster Abbey. Weird.

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5. Thomas Sayers, died 1865
Highgate Cemetery, Swain’s Lane, N6 6PJ
Sayers was the nineteenth-century fighting scene’s biggest bruiser. He retired after contesting in what is believed to be the first ever boxing world championship. A statue of his mastiff, Lion, guards his grave.

Want more top fives? Check out five things that are more scary than the snakes on Regent’s Canal.

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