This is my favourite place to go for a walk in Bristol. A beautifully green hidden gem, this cemetery holds 170,000 of the departed in their final resting place. Most of which has been reclaimed by nature, making this cemetery so incredibly unique.
Opened in 1837, the Arnos Vale was created as a spacious garden cemetery filled with trees, flowers and architecture. This was a welcome alternative to Bristol’s old parish graveyards, which were over crowding and becoming an increasing health hazard.
The cemetery spans over 45 acres and is a great place to grab a coffee and go for a walk. With graves and monuments dating back to the 1800s, this cemetery is full of history.
One of the most notable mausoleums, is of Raja Rammohun Roy Bahadoor. Often referred to as the father of modern India, he was well known for his efforts to abolish sati and child marriage in India. He had a huge influence in traditional culture by organizing religious dissenters and pushing for educational, social and political reforms. He came to Bristol from Bengal in 1830, and sadly passed three years later from meningitis.
The cemetery is not only home to the departed. If you look for them, you will find the occasional fairy door hidden in the trees. We managed to find eight. I would like to think they’re the ones who are leaving the cups of tea.
The Arnos Vale isn’t just a place of mourning. They also host weddings, fayres, events and parties. The Clever Chef cafe is great place to stop for a drink and cake too.
If you would like to find out more about the cemetery, please check out their website here.