Crossbones Graveyard
October 31, 2010 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Crossbones Graveyard (YT) is a disused graveyard in Southwark, London. Lying outside the old city walls, it became the last resting place for 15,000 paupers and prostitutes (the latter known as the 'Winchester Geese' because they were licensed by the Bishop of Winchester). The history of Crossbones is being rediscovered by local playwright John Constable, and is becoming a place of pilgrimage to remember the outcasts in London society (audio/slide). A ritual is held there every Halloween.
posted by carter (8 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Hear! Hear! for the outcasts of london!

"land adjacent to Redcorss Way and Union Street, London SE1" (formerly Cross Bones Graveyard)

posted by mjg123 at 1:48 PM on October 31, 2010

That was one pimp Bishop.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:15 PM on October 31, 2010

A ritual is held there every Halloween.

It is 9:30pm here in London. The ritual started 2 hours ago, I believe.

This is interesting. I've been to Crossbones Graveyard. But the casual visitor can't do much more than stand outside the fence and peer in. It is part of regular Southbank walks, including ones by John Constable.

He is also the author of Secret Bankside, a must-have book for this part of town. He's a very interesting and knowledgeable guy. I met him when he led me and others on his first (only?) Samuel Pepys walk through the City of London.
posted by vacapinta at 2:37 PM on October 31, 2010 [2 favorites]

Good post.
posted by humannaire at 3:32 PM on October 31, 2010

A few weeks ago I read of someone being "marked by the bite of the Winchester goose." It took some researching to learn the phrase meant the dude was afflicted with ye olde STD. Interesting to add more backstory to the phrase...
posted by the christopher hundreds at 7:35 PM on October 31, 2010

For what its worth, the Bishop of Winchester also owned Clink prison - yes, he ran brothels and a prison. Anyways, Clink prison is the origin of the phrase "in the clink."
posted by vacapinta at 3:16 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

This was a very cool post. Thanks!
posted by perilous at 8:26 AM on November 1, 2010

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