Necropolis Line

London has several transport links, but did you know that there was one that used to carry dead people and their mourners?

The London Necropolis Railway was opened in 1854 and carried coffins from the Waterloo station to Brookwood cemetery. There were separate hearse cars for Anglicans and Dissenters, and three classes of carriage for the living and the dead.

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A First Class corpse received a higher level of customer care and nicely decorated carriage. Trains ran straight into the cemetery grounds, there were two stations, each for different parts of the cemetery, North for Dissenters and South for Anglicans, adjacent to the corresponding chapels. The South Station was licensed and in addition for funeral parties, offered afternoon tea to visitors strolling in the cemetery, it also operated as a pub, which did much to reconcile the locals to the giant cemetery on their doorstep.

Brookwood received the dead from overcrowded London parishes, in a series of subdivisions, many of which resemble old-fashioned churchyards with their hedges and lynch-gates. As well as accomodating Anglicans and Dissenters, Brookwood was one of the first cemeteries in Britain to offer burial facilities to Muslims and Sikhs.

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The two stations in the cemetery were demolished during the 1960s and the ruins later caught fire. The tracks were long since lifted away to be melted or reused elsewhere. In London, the entrance building to the private station at 121 Westminster Bridge Road remains largely intact, but the name Necropolis Cemetery Station that was once inscribed is no longer there.

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I love living in London, so many unusual things to discover that make a weirdo like me very happy!

Elle. xx

Hunterian Museum

Hello y’all fellow weirdos! It’s been a while since my last post, my apologies, but life here in London is crazy. Anyway, I’m always on the lookout for unordinary places to visit…and believe me, here in London there are loads of them! Lucky me!

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Finally I had the chance to visit the Hunterian Museum, which is the home of the biggest collection of human and animal anatomical and pathological specimens I’ve ever seen in my life.

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All those little jars filled with your fears, because yes, if you are like me and suffer from entomophobia (aka insectophobia), then you might have some problems. Trust me, this is the closest I can be to a (dead) insect, although the iridescent beetles were too cute.

 

If you are into medicine and surgery, or if you are an all-round weirdo like myself, you might find the section they have regarding surgery history very fascinating. Cases full of old medical devices that make you cringe when thinking of their use.

Here you can also admire the skeleton of Charles Byrne – the Irish giant, well preserved foetuses, deformities, bizarre animals and so on. This museum is a treasure for the curious minds and even if you don’t have a “medical background” it definitely worth the visit, is free and the gift shop is adorable, here you will find tiny glow-in-the-dark skeletons, skeleton t-shirts and a lot of interesting books.

The Hunterian Museum
Royal College of Surgeons
35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3PE

Elle. xx

Disguised Weapons!

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” should work for people and…for weapons! Some of the most dangerous weapons are those disguised as everyday items.

In 1945 a man gave a pair of spring-loaded spiked binoculars as a gift to his former fiancée after she left him. They inspired a scene in the 1959 film Horrors of the Black Museum.

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I can’t even count all the times that in a spy-movie a shotgun disguised as an umbrella appears, the last movie that I’ve seen with a weapon like this is Kingsman (which is also a  pretty cool movie).

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Girls are sooo obsessed with make-up and, personally, a make-up item that I always carry with me is lipstick. Of course this is not the kind of lipstick I would use on my face on a daily basis!

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Most of the good ol’ fashioned  gangsters used to have a double bladed signet ring, that eventually would leave some ugly scars on the face of the victim.

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The Crime Museum’s collections contain many other cleverly designed weapons seized by the Metropolitan Police. For the very first time a huge collection of never-before-seen objects from the Metropolitan Police’s Crime Museum (or Black Museum as it was once called) are on public display at the Museum of London until the 10th of April 2016. an interesting journey through some of the UK’s most famous cases from Jack the Ripper and Dr. Crippen to  the Krays, the Great Train Robbery, the Spaghetti House Siege, espionage and the Cold War. It’s a chance you can’t miss as the Crime Museum’s collection, located at New Scotland Yard, is not open to the public.

Museum of London – The Crime Museum Uncovered

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Source: The Crime Museum Uncovered

Elle. xx

 

Around the World.

As we’re getting closer to Halloween (less than two weeks!) I was wondering how other countries celebrate this spooky event, so I thought It would’ve been nice getting to know other traditions and share them on this blog so that everyone can have a little peek into another culture.

Let’s start from Europe: Italy (where I live) celebrates All Saints on November 1st and All Souls on November 2nd and here you will find different Regional traditions. From the last day of October until the 2nd of Novembr it is believed that dead people come back to meet the ones who are still living and to receive support and also to give light and hope. We place candles into empty pumpkins. In Sicily, especially in Palermo, All Saints is dedicated to children and it’s a sort of Christmas’s replica, with kids getting gifts in the morning or treasure hunting for them and, once found them, go to the cemetery to thank the dead.

In Austria some people will leave bread, water and a lighted lamp on the table before retiring on Halloween night. The reason for this is because it was once believed such items would welcome the dead souls back to earth on a night which for the Austrians was considered to be full to the brim with strong cosmic energies, while in Germany during the Halloween night, people put away their knives, this is because they do not want to risk harm for the returning spirits.

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Museo Criminologico – Rome

A couple of days ago I’ve got the chance to visit the criminology museum in Rome with a great friend of mine. For just 2 Euros you can visit three floors full of weapons, miniatures of torture devices, historical artifacts, weapons, ancient forensic science sets and… oh did I mention weapons?! (You can click on each picture for the larger version)

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At the very beginning there is a beautiful Iron Maiden that welcomes you and almost the entire ground floor houses miniatures of ancient torture devices but also original pieces such as guillotines, stocks, whips ,spiked chairs, spiked collars and any form of torture from the Medieval Age you can imagine.

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