My notes from the lecture are presented like this,

Whereas my later reflection on those notes are presented like this.

When visiting Kings Cross on 4/10/12, I visited St. Pancras Old Church, but only towards the end of the day, so I just took a few pictures. I really liked the aesthetic of the place, so I decided to research and find out more about it, and I found that it has a lot of history:

St. Pancras Old Church, believed to have existed since 314 AD.

The Hardy Tree


Picture from: http://www.kuriositas.com/2012/07/hardytree.html

Quote from http://www.victorianweb.org/photos/hardy/74b.html

The plaque accompanying the tree explains that “before turning to writing full time,” Thomas Hardy “studied architecture in London from 1862-67 under Mr. Arlhur Blomfield, an architect based in Covent Garden. During the 1860s the Midland Railwayline was being built over part of the original St. Pancras Churchyard. Blomfield was commissioned by the Bishop of London to supervise the proper exhumation of human remains and dismantling of tombs. He passed this unenviable task to his protegé Thomas Hardy in. c.l865. Hardy would have spent many hours in St. Pancras Churchyard … overseeing the careful removal of bodies and tombs from the land on which the railway was being built. The headstones around this ashtree (Fraxinus excelsior) would have been placed here about that time. Note how the tree has since grown in amongst the stones.

“A few years before Hardy’s involvement here, Charles Dickens makes reference to Old St. Pancras Churchyard in his Tale of Two Cities(1859), as the churchyard in which Roger Cly was buried and where Gerry Cruncher was known to ‘fish’ (a 19C term for tomb robbery and body snatching).”

[Note: I think it’s a typo: Arlhur Blomfield should be Arthur Blomfield]

More notes:

Mary Wollstonecraft buried here, but then moved to Bournemouth. Wrote ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Woman’ (1792). Early feminist. Mother of Mary Shelley, author of “Frankenstein” or “The Modern Prometheus”.

Mary Shelley met up with her future husband, Percy Shelley, by her mothers grave

To be honest, meeting by your mum’s gravestone is more than a little bit creepy.

With this all in mind, I decided to visit and make actual observational drawings of St. Pancras Old Church properly when I next visited.


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