A ring of spectacular cemeteries, developed at the edges of London in the decade from 1832, have long been referred to as The Magnificent Seven.
At the time, they set a new aesthetic for the burial of the dead, and remain rich in social history and beauty to this day. It was entrepreneurs, rather than the religious authorities, who responded to the squalor of the City's brimming churchyards by fi nancing seemly, hygienic concepts of burial in the rural outskirts, now embraced by inner London.
The Seven became showcases for neoclassical and neo-Gothic architecture, matched by splendid - sometimes eccentric - memorials recording Victorian society, and the sweep of London's history to the present day. From grand Kensal Green in the west to modest Tower Hamlets in the east; from heady Highgate to charming Norwood and Nunhead; and from the military influences of Brompton to the Non-conformist woodland of Abney Park - a host of characters and stories are visited in this distinctive coverage of the subject.