Unquiet Ground: Whitefield's Soul Trap
July 22, 2019 9:59 AM   Subscribe

Unquiet Ground: Whitefield's Soul Trap
PlanetSlade's latest Secret London essay investigates the extraordinary history of a forgotten burial ground on central London's Tottenham Court Road. In the period from 1850-1900, this site next to Whitefield's Tabernacle was the subject of a 40-year legal battle between the chapel trustees hoping to protect its 30,000 graves and the operators of a noisy and chaotic carnival there. Monkeys danced on desecrated tombs and skulls were used as footballs. One defence lawyer whose murderous client frequented the place called it "a miniature hell".

Other episodes in the burial ground's colourful history are covered in the essay too. These include:

* The exhumation of Elizabeth Thomas, a young woman found to have been buried with an 8-inch silver pin pressed deep into her heart.

* The remarkable Methodist preacher George Whitefield and the death threats he received while preaching in London.

* A midnight expedition to unofficially consecrate the Tottenham Court Road graveyard with soil stolen from another church.

* An underground bomb shelter nestling beneath the Northern Line and the last major casualty of Hitler's V2 campaign.
Role: Writer & publisher
posted by Paul Slade (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by ellieBOA on July 24, 2019: Unquiet Ground: Whitefield's Soul Trap

Fascinating!
posted by ellieBOA at 5:04 AM on July 24


Oooo, this is exactly my kind of thing.
posted by rednikki at 8:43 PM on August 2


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