St Mary’s Rest Garden, Nottingham

St Mary’s Rest Garden is a small park next to Victoria Park and the Victoria Swimming Baths in Nottingham. Formally a cemetery, a Quaker by the name of Samuel Fox donated the land after an outbreak of cholera in 1835.

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The size of the land gradually decreased, especially in 1906 when the road nearby was widened and the bodies that were disturbed were then moved and re-interred, with their headstones being propped up along the back wall as you can see above and below.

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The reason I’d gone to this park in the first place was to photograph the tomb of the most famous person buried there, William Thompson, known as Bendigo.

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Born in 1811 he had a rough start in life, raised in the Nottingham slums, before becoming a prize fighter, regularly attracting crowds of 10,000. Arthur Conan Doyle was apparently a fan, writing a verse to him called Bendy’s Sermon that can be read here.

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After he retired he became something of a drunk and spent time in prison. Eventually he became interested in religion and became a preacher, attracting the same kind of crowds that he did as a fighter until his death in 1880.

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One other bit of interesting history on the site is this tower which a nearby plaque refers to as the “curious little brick tower”. Probably originally an access tunnel it then become a ventilation shaft, allowing foul air to be carried up the shaft and out the top.

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You can find more of my photos, including views of Nottingham as seen from the gardens, here.

Categories: England, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “St Mary’s Rest Garden, Nottingham

  1. Reblogged this on PorchesterBus.

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  2. Pingback: Nottingham: The Plaque Addition – Part One | Louise Jayne's Blog

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