Victorian London - Death and Dying - Cemeteries - Bunhill Fields

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Bunhill Fields.—The great burial ground of Dissenters. Originally a “chapel of ease” for the City charnel-houses, and later a common burial ground for the victims of the Great Plague, Bunhill-fieids came into the possession of the Dissenters about two hundred years ago. The prohibition of intramural interments closed Bunhill-fields, as it closed many other places of burial, and the ground is now planted and open to the public as a place of recreation. It is to be feared that, as was the case with a Drury-lane burying ground, which was similarly devoted to the public use and benefit, the London “rough” has far too much to do in the old Dissenters’ ground. Perhaps the associations of the place would have but little influence with this class of people, even if they knew whose ghosts might haunt the place. But no student of English literature can forget that Bunhill-fields received the bodies of John Bunyan and of Daniel Defoe. NEAREST Railway Station, Moorgate -street; Omnibus Routes, City-road; Cab Rank, Old-street. 

Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879

Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - Bunyan's Tomb in Bunhill Fields

Bunyan's Tomb in Bunhill Fields - photograph


Bunhill Fields Cemetery, in the City Road, was long the chief burial-place of London Nonconformists. The most noteworthy tomb therein is that of John Bunyan, bearing a recumbent figure of the great allegorist. Like the surrounding monuments, it has suffered from the ravages of time, but it has been carefully restored, and is protected by a substantial railing. The inscription at the foot is "John Bunyan, author of the 'Pilgrim's Progress,' Obt. 31 Aug. 1688, Aet. 60" while at the head is another recording the fact that the tomb was restored by public subscription in 1862. On either side is a rude figure of Christian - one with his burden on his back, and the other with it rolling off at the foot of the Cross. Hard by are buried Daniel Defoe, Isaac Watts, Richard Cromwell, and the mother of the Wesleys.