Sunday, 30 September 2012

Travellers and Egyptomania: A guided tour of Kensal Green Cemetery

I am gradually making my way around the Egyptianising monuments of London during my time in the city working at the British Museum. My most recent visit was to Kensal Green Cemetery as part of a guided tour organised by ASTENE (Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt and the Near East) led by Cathie Bryan, who also led the excellent 'Cinematic Necropolis' tour organised by the Petrie Museum which I attended in June 2012.

Unlike the rainy Petrie tour in June, the autumn sun shone beautifully on the cemetery and the leaves were crisp on the ground. At Kensal Green, one of London's oldest public cemeteries, Cathie's tour was intended to highlight monuments of well-known travellers as well as those in the Egyptianising style. The group slowly made their way around the cemetery - together with a playful local cat - on a two-hour tour which included the following monuments:

John McDouall Stuart (1815-1866) in the form of an Egyptian obelisk

Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-59) - Mechanical and Civil Engineer

General Sir William Casement (1780-1844) -  a British General who served in India

Sir George Harris (1827-1902) in the form of an Egyptian temple pylon with winged sun disk (with Cathie)

Sir George Farrant (1770-1844) in the form of an Egyptian temple pylon with a winged sun disk and a stylised winged Hathor-head

Detail of above

Andrew Ducrow (1793-1837) in the form of an Egyptian temple pylon with winged sun disks and sphinxes

John Shae Perring (1813-1869) - Engineer who worked with the Egyptologist Howard Vyse, in the form of an Egyptian pyramidion

Lt. Col. Charles Seton Guthrie (1805-1874) in the form of an Egyptian temple pylon with metal grilles in the form of stylised Egyptian cartouches (detail below)

The friendly local cat who followed the tour!
The tour ended in the Anglican Chapel where the group was treated to well-earned hot drinks and biscuits. Many thanks once again to Cathie Bryan, and also to Patricia Usick for organising a fascinating day out.

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Yan Tan Tethera: A rhyme derived from a Brythonic Celtic language used by shepherds to keep sheep in many parts of England and Southern Scotland.

Until the Industrial Revolution, the use of traditional number systems was common among shepherds, especially in the Dales of the Lake District.

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