Arnos Vale Cemetery

Lying on the slope between the Bath and Wells roads, Arnos Vale is in the process of being restored. (More information: Friends of Arnos Vale, Arnos Vale Centery Trust.) Currently much of it is overgrown, the gravestones competing with trees for space on its slopes. This makes it an atmospheric place to take a walk.

[Gravestones, brambles and trees]

Many of the stones have vanished completely under swathes of ivy, leaving just rows of green shapes ranked beneath the trees. Others are only partially subsumed, and you can still just about make out the names of the dead in between the leaves and shoots.

[Two gravestones partially covered in ivy]

The cemetery contains a few large tombs and interesting monuments, some of which are listed. One of the most ornate and unusual is the tomb of Raja Rammohun Roy Bahadoor, a Hindu reformer and thinker who died in Bristol in 1833 (Wikipedia entry, Banglapedia entry). His mausoleum reminds me of the tombs of the Rajput Maharajahs in Jaipur, although Rammohan Roy was from Bengal on the far side of the country.

[The Bengali-style tomb of Rammohun Roy]

There are plenty more buildings and monuments scattered around the grounds. Some are in the process of being restored and are hidden under scaffolding and tarpaulin, others stand untouched among the trees. A great place for a stroll on a Sunday.