Crossbones Vigil

This month marks 14 years of consecutive vigils, held on the 23rd of every month since June 2004. FREE! Donations welcome

At all the vigils, London poets and musicians give impromptu performances.

In the photo (Another Eden Images), Mervyn Syna performs his song ‘Prime Monster’ at the May 2017 Vigil.

We come to renew the memorial shrine, to remember the outcast, dead and alive, and to reclaim a secret history. AND this month…

OUTSIDE – opening event in Crossbones Garden. Wednesday 23rd May, 4:30pm to 6:30pm

OUTSIDE is an exhibition of sculptures and performances in Crossbones Garden, with free accompanying publication

OUTSIDE links Crossbones’ history to issues facing contemporary sex worker communities. The exhibition runs 12-5pm from 24th-28th May and 30th May-2nd June

This opening event, featuring performances in Crossbones Garden, will be followed by the Vigil for the Outcast in the street facing the gates / shrine in Redcross Way

Love and Geese >><<

John and Katy’s Wedding Service

This Saturday 14th April, Katy ‘Kaos’ Nicholls and John ‘Crow’ Constable are to be married in Southwark Cathedral. Friends of Crossbones are invited to attend the wedding service. If you’d like to, please arrive at the Cathedral by 12 noon at the latest to be seated in time for the ceremony.

NB The wedding reception is for a smaller group of invited guests only and the venue is already full.

We’d love to have been able to invite you all to the reception – there just isn’t a space big enough!

Please respect this, come to the service in the Cathedral and help us have a wedding to remember.

Love Rules OK.

Crossbones Garden of Remembrance opening times

The Crossbones Garden of Remembrance is open most weekdays in summer from 12 noon to 3pm). The garden is open thanks to the generosity of the volunteer wardens working in collaboration with Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST). Two wardens are needed for each open day. To check in advance whether the garden is open, please contact BOST – telephone: 020 7403 3393 / email: – or just turn up and take your chances. If the garden happens to be closed, you can still view it through the gates / shrine around the corner in Redcross Way.

If you can spare a couple of hours a week (or even once a month) and would like to be a volunteer warden helping to keep the garden open, please contact BOST (see above for contact details).

Christmas closing of the garden

During BOST staff holidays, Crossbones Garden will be closed. The last ‘official’ opening day will be Friday 15th December. The garden will reopen on Monday 8th January. During the holiday break, some volunteers may arrange to warden for unofficial public openings, though we advise people not to turn up assuming that the garden will be open.

As ever, the shrine on the gates in Redcross Way is accessible at all times.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Crossbones Vigil at Christmas

Sunday 23rd December: gather 6.45 for 7pm Vigil at Crossbones Gates / Shrine, Redcross Way, London SE1 – Crossbones Vigil for the Outcast, Winter Solstice, Yule, Christmas and…

To remember the outcast, dead or alive, to renew the shrine at the gates in Redcross Way and to reclaim the secret history as revealed by The Goose to John Crow. This is the 163rd consecutive Vigil, held on the 23rd of every month since June 2004. The Vigils are linked to traditional seasonal festivals.

On Sunday 23rd December, we celebrate the winter solstice and the return of the light, the pagan festival of Yule – and Christmas. Having briefly experimented with alternatives, we’ve recently reverted to singing traditional Christmas Carols. We’re all faiths and none, and you’re welcome to share something from your own tradition. And, as ever, we perform our own inclusive secular rituals to honour the outcast. Come help hold the space. Please bring a ribbon or memento to tie to the shrine, a song, poem or personal testimony to share.

BBC World Service / PRI radio: ‘London has a unique vigil for its forgotten dead’

This radio feature could be heard coast-to-coast in the U.S. on Halloween 2017. It was recorded by Leo Hornuk during the 161st ‘Crossbones Vigil and Halloween Portal’ held at the red gates in Redcross Way, London, on 23rd October 2017

click link to PRI webpage and play radio report

John Constable aka John Crow calls out Irving Rappaport’s name to begin the reading of the names of the dead as participants tie memorial ribbons to the gates.

‘Irving Rappaport: Mensch, 23rd September 2017…’

Grant Burford, who co-created this website, died on 18th April 2017. His parents, Vernon and Terri, are at the vigil. Terri reads out Grant’s ribbon:

‘Grant Burford, Friend of the Outcast…’

Maggie Woodall is also present, honouring her son:

‘Tyson Cochise Haynes: Sept. 27, 2016, was killed, shot dead in the Netherlands’ <3

The names of three of the recent dead, the magicians Steve Ash, David Blank and Steve Wilson are all called, though they’re not included in the radio report. And so many more, loved and lost. And not lost. Remembered.

‘Steve Ash: philosopher. prankster.’ Restored to the shrine to the outcast, Crossbones Gates, 2017. Photo by Max Reeves

A few days ago, Katy Kaos and John Crow were in the garden tending the shrine when they heard a stranger in the street, reading from a memorial ribbon on the gates, saying Irving’s name out loud.

A recent visitor to the graveyard, Steve, reported seeing a ghost of a young woman, appearing and then vanishing behind a lamp-post.

And at the 23rd November Vigil, the ribbons fluttered in the breeze to remind us all that, here at Crossbones, there’s a time to bind and a time to loose…

Open pathways >><<

Opening hours in August 2017

Crossbones Garden of Remembrance is usually open weekdays from 12 noon to 3pm. In August, due to availability of volunteer wardens, the opening hours may vary.

On week beginning 14 August 2017, the garden is scheduled to open on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

To confirm if the garden is open on a specific day please call Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST) Telephone: 020 7403 3393 Email:

Crossbones May Fair

Tuesday 23rd May, 5pm (followed by 7pm Vigil)
Crossbones Garden of Remembrance, Union Street SE1

a special opening and promenade performance on the site of
the outcasts’ burial ground, exploring its stranger than fiction
true story and the transforming visions it has inspired…

Hosted by JOHN CONSTABLE aka Crow
author of The Southwark Mysteries
and international poets MAMTA SAGAR and ANA SEFEROVIC

5pm Garden opens
5.30 Crow’s magical mystery tour of the garden
with interventions by BETWEEN TEETH theatre
6pm Performance in the garden of songs and poems for Crossbones

7pm the 156th Cross Bones Vigil for the Outcast (at the Red Gates in Redcross Way)

A FREE EVENT! Donations welcome.
Dress for the weather. Bring cushions for comfort.
Under 16s please bring a responsible adult

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