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Bunhill Fields

Bunhill Fields

​Bunhill Fields Cemetery

Bunhill Field Cemetery

Bunhill Fields is a former Dissenters' burial ground of four hectares, bounded by City Road to the east and Bunhill Row to the west. Today the area is an oasis of calm and greenery, which has been managed as a public open space by the City of London since 1867.

It is the last resting place for an estimated 120,000 bodies, including three of Britain's most eminent Nonconformists - William Blake, John Bunyan and Daniel Defoe.

History of Bunhill Fields

The site has a long history as a burial ground, but is most significant for its Nonconformist connections, dating from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, and the burial of prominent people including William Blake, Daniel Defoe, John Bunyan and Susannah Wesley. The significance of the burial ground is recognised by the designation of its historic landscape as a Grade I listed entry on the national Register of Parks and Gardens.  Bunhill Fields also forms part of the Bunhill Fields Burial Ground and Finsbury Square Conservation Area and has 75 listed tombs within its boundary.

The current layout of Bunhill Fields Burial Ground dates was developed in two main phases. The first of these was in the 1860s, when the City of London improved the site: laying out paths, undertaking tree planting and carrying out work to the tombs including re-cutting and recording inscriptions. In the 1960s another layer was added to the site with a sensitively designed public garden by one of the foremost landscape architects of the period, Peter Shepheard. The southern area remained dominated by the memorials, fenced off from public access by metal railings, while to the north a new open lawn enclosed by shrub planting was created to complement the memorial landscape. The burial ground now contains 2,333 monuments, mostly simple headstones (of which there are 1,920) arranged in a grid formation.

For more information please visit City Gardens and Bunhill Fields webpage.

Published:
03 May 2012
Last Modified:
29 September 2017

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