Famous Graves

I always like to look at gravestones in old churchyards and cemeteries.
But I have rarely seen any of famous people.

Thanks to the Internet, I can at least see photos of them instead.

William Shakespeare is buried in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire.
If you want to visit the site, here is the address.
Holy Trinity Church.
1, Old Town.
CV37 6GB

The famous navy commander, Admiral Horatio Nelson, has an impressive tomb, and I have seen this one.
This marks the high regard in which he was held by Britain at the time of his death in action at the Battle of Trafalgar, in 1805.
The tomb is located inside St Paul’s Cathedral, in The City of London.

William Blake, poet and artist, was famous for writing the hymn ‘Jerusalem’.
Many people in Britain think it should be our national anthem.

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold:
Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire.

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.

His grave can be found at Bunhill Fields, 38 City Road, London EC1Y 2BG

Rupert Brooke was a WW1 war soldier and poet.
He died from wounds on the island of Skyros, Greece.
His famous poem ‘The Soldier’ is incredibly affecting, given that he is buried abroad.

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

His small tomb on that island is well-maintained.

Charles Dickens is one of the most famous and best-loved British writers.
Popular in his lifetime, and just as popular today, his fame guaranteed him a place in Westminster Abbey

Grave of Charles Dickens

The famous escapologist Harry Houdini never managed to escape from his own grave.
He is buried at Machpelah Cemetery, Queens, New York City, United States.

King Richard III of England was killed fighting at the battle of Bosworth, in 1485. For centuries, he had no known grave.
Then in 2012, remains were found in Leicester, during the renovation of a car park.
After much publicity, they were confirmed as being those of the famous king.
He was re-buried in an impressive tomb, in Leicester Cathedral.
If you ever want to see it, it is easy to find.

Another grave I have seen is that of the famous Communist, Karl Marx.
His tomb is in Highgate Cemetery, Swans lane, London N6 6PJ
It is one of the most-visited graves in Europe.


75 thoughts on “Famous Graves

  1. I’ve seen the Karl Marx grave. Not sure if you’d consider the unknown soldiers as famous but I’ve seen two. One in London and one in Germany but ff the top of my head I cannot think where that was. I did always think there was only one of these very poignant graves.


  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this, Pete! Here in New England the oldest headstones (1600’s) were made of slate and therefore the markings remain clear. Later ones (1800’s) were stone and often loose their images. I find that fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps the cost of slate was prohibitive. That may have been why we changed to stone. Yet, why was it available and used early on over here? I’ll have to do some research. It really is astonishing to read crystal clear words on slate that were written in the 1600’s. Best to you, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good one, EW. Some inscriptions are priceless.
      My friend Steve had this on his headstone. “I told you I was ill!”
      He had been written off as a ‘worrier’, but died of a heart attack at the age of 43.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Back in the early 1970s, I had a graduate student, a Mr. Anderson, who photographs headstones in every cemetery he could get to. Since he was also in the Air Force he got around to a lot fo them. I found he did a very excellent composition job in his “graves project,” as he called it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It has been close to 45 years since I last saw him or knew where he was. You are right, it would be interesting to see the collection. And he did this in days of processing film and printing the images on paper. Warmest regards, Theo

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Terrific tour, Pete…that’s one thing that fascinated me when I went to the famous Paris cemetery where Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf and many others are buried: so many unique shapes and sizes…their final resting places

    Liked by 4 people

  5. A nice collection of notables who most of us will know.
    Houdini said he would return in a spirit session to his wife before he died if it were possible. He exposed many spiritualist tricks and proved himself by not returning.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Strangely enough I also like roaming around graveyards. On the Isle of Wight are buried the poet Swinburne (at Bonchurch), and also Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter (at Whippingham). I remember also scouring St. Fintan’s cemetery in Dublin until I found Phil Lynott’s grave!

    Liked by 2 people

          1. Yes, there are a few of them there. The church is up an amazingly steep hill. Legend has it that the foundation stone was originally to be laid down in the village, but every day when the builders arrived the stone had been moved up the hill.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely photos. there is something about cemeteries that gets you or maybe it is the quiet and peacefulness of the place. Every time I go home to the province, I visit the graves of my Dad, my youngest brother who died when he was just a year old and some of our relatives.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. True, Jovy’s mom died three weeks ago and she was cremated. Know what, it was the first time I heard of the green bone. She and her brother were given some from the crematorium from the skull of her mom.

        Liked by 1 person

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