Crossbones Garden opening hours

The garden is now open Wed, Thurs, Fri 12-2pm (and some weekends when the fantastic volunteer wardens are available). If you’d like to become a warden, and help us extend our opening hours, please contact:
hej@bost.org.uk

Cross Bones Monthly Bulletin

 
Here’s some of the January newsletter by Bankside Open Spaces Trust who maintain the Garden of Remembrance at Cross Bones Graveyard. For regular monthly updates on what’s happening, please subscribe to the newsletter via this page on the website:

https://www.bost.org.uk/crossbones-graveyard
 
Dear Crossbones supporters
 
Happy New Year! I hope you had an enjoyable Yuletide and are looking forward to the warmer days ahead. Already there are signs of spring as daffodils start pushing their way up through the soil.
 
Twelfth Night
The Lions part were hoping to be bringing Twelfth Night to Bankside on Sunday 9th January but owing to Covid, had to cancel. However, please visit their webpage, Facebook or follow this link to see Twelfth Night 2022 online.
 
The Lions part are also hoping to visit Bankside again in May this year, so watch this space!
 
Special thanks to Dan Taylor at Southwark Council’s Regeneration Team
Throughout the 18 years that Dan Taylor has been working in Southwark, he has been an excellent friend to BOST and the Crossbones project. He was instrumental in securing a monthly road closure for the Crossbones Vigil for Friends of Crossbones and has long been a champion of the Graveyard and all community spaces in SE1. He is moving with his family to the Lake District to work with the National Trust and we wish him all the best. We’ll miss you Dan – huge thanks for everything you’ve done and all the help and encouragement you’ve given over the years – please stay in touch!
 
Replicas of our Mizuko jizo statues need new home
 
We have been donated some replicas of our beautiful Mizuko jizu statues which need homes. We can’t install them at Crossbones as they are not weatherproof, but they’d be great indoors if you have room. They’re quite heavy and are made of plaster. If you’d like one, please get in contact.
 
Crossbones gardening
Thanks again to our wonderful team of volunteer gardeners who take care of the Graveyard every Friday 12-2pm, lead by Barney. If you’d like to volunteer your time as a Crossbones warden or gardener, please get in contact: hej@bost.org.uk
 
We have been busy planting bulbs, kindly donated by the Metropolitan Parks and Gardens Association. There are still lots to plant and we’ll be there tomorrow (Friday 14th) if you’d like to stop by and plant a few with us, and get a taste of volunteering with us.
 
Crossbones Opening hours
We are now back to our ‘normal’ opening hours of Wed, Thurs, Fri 12-2pm and some weekends when our fantastic volunteer wardens are available. If you’d like to become a warden, and help us extend our opening hours, please let me know.
 
Many thanks to the wardens who kindly donated their time to ensure that the garden was able to be opened over the Christmas period for quiet reflection.
 
Crossbones Vision detailed design and construction workshops
I know there are many new subscribers since the last bulletin, so I’ll bring you up to speed on these workshops! We’ve hosted the first three of a series of workshops, in collaboration with U+I (the developer responsible for the Liberty of Southwark development next to Crossbones and who will one day be our new landlord) which will explore how we create our Vision for Crossbones, and help to ensure that contractors working on site do so with sensitivity.
 
Our first workshop (Friday 12th November) was held at the Liberty of Southwark site which is next to Crossbones. MOLA Archaeologist Antonietta gave us a talk about the fascinating discoveries made on the site. You can follow the dig here.
 
The second workshop (Saturday 27th November) looked at the proposed construction of the boundaries on site. Sculptor Adrian joined us and shared his experience of metalworking and we looked at ways of involving the community in both the design of the boundaries and possibly even contribute to the features on the boundaries through community workshops. You can read the notes from the workshop here.
 
Note that the ribboned railings/’gates’ did not form part of the Boundaries workshop and will not be forming part of the Crossbones enhancements. TfL states:
“TfL have reviewed the ribboned gates and advised that there are no urgent works to be undertaken.”
 
The third workshop (Saturday 4th December) looked at the proposed structures on site: new ramps, a new goosewing shelter to mirror the existing one, as well as new shelters. You can read the notes here.
 
Volunteer warden Simon gave a talk on the history of ramps and shared his thought-provoking poem Wheel, which details his experience of the city as a wheelchair user.
 
Joel from YesMake was on hand to answer questions and listen to ideas about what the new ramps and shelters should be like.
 
The next workshop will look at Surfacing and will be held TOMORROW Friday 14th January, 10am – 1130am. Please email me if you’d like to attend…bear in mind that spaces are limited and I will be reserving spaces first for our regular Crossbones volunteers. If you are not able to join us, please let me know if there is anything you’d like asked on your behalf. I’ll continue to share notes from the workshops via the bulletin.
 
The last few workshops, looking at water and electricity, planting and a summary of our discussions, will take place later in January or February/March – look out for the Crossbones bulletin for more details.
 
Crossbones Vigil
Don’t forget that the Crossbones Vigil, held by Friends of Crossbones is on 23rd of every month at 7pm outside the gates on Redcross Way. For more information see: www.crossbones.org.uk/events
 
Got an idea?
As always, the best way to ‘weave Crossbones into the fabric of SE1’ is to get people involved on site. If you have an idea for an event, installation, tour, or other activity / initiative, I’d be delighted if you would get in contact with me via email, phone, WhatsApp, Signal etc. I’m also aiming to be on site most Fridays 12pm-2pm (my last day before Christmas is tomorrow, 10th December, then I’m back on 7th January) when the gardening team is there, so let me know if you have a positive way of spreading the Crossbones story, and you’d like to speak to me in person: hej@bost.org.uk
 
Liberty of Southwark development
For those of you receiving this bulletin for the first time, the Liberty of Southwark development is the one adjacent to Crossbones and an exciting archaeological dig is currently being undertaken. You can also view the blog here and contact with the developer directly for information about the works on the site: henriettanowne@uandiplc.com

Cross Bones updates



Dear Friends, It’s more than two years I completed my 23-year work at Cross Bones Graveyard on 23 November 2019. In September 2020 we moved to Glastonbury where we serve The Goose in Her Mysterious Ways. As we’re no longer on the ground in south-east London, I’m not posting my regular updates on what’s happening. I’ll still post on here to promote what I hope to be a unifying vision of Cross Bones as a shrine and a garden of remembrance for sex workers and all outcasts, sharing photos and films from our years of collective work to manifest our beautiful garden. And share the good news of all the Friends who are working in their own ways to protect this little patch of Holy Ground.

The garden is managed by Bankside Open Spaces Trust who put out a monthly newsletter to supporters. You can subscribe to the newsletter on their Crossbones page: https://www.bost.org.uk/crossbones-graveyard. To find out about being a volunteer warden to help keep the garden open, for information about opening times and for other enquiries, please contact: hej@bost.org.uk

For anyone interested in some of the recent events at Cross Bones, here are edited selections from Hej’s December 2021 newsletter. (If you subscribe you can get more up-to-date information, see the photos and access the notes on the recent Crossbones Vision workshops.)

Dear Crossbones supporters

A very merry Yuletide to you all! Following on from Diwali’s Festival of Lights last month, we look to other religious festivals over this winter period which share the common theme of bringing light into dark places.Crossbones events

Donations from The Last Burials at Crossbones
Since the last bulletin, all profits from The Last Burials at Crossbones event were donated to the Outside Project, a total of £263. Lucy, BOST and The Outside Project would like to thank everyone who donated for your generosity!

Trans Day of Remembrance 20.11.21
We were delighted to host a remembrance event for Trans Day of Remembrance at Crossbones on Saturday 20th November with The Outside Project.

Many thanks to Jesse, Lu and volunteers from The Outside Project, who helped our gardening volunteers plant bulbs and Viburnum ‘December Dwarf’ on 19th November. They were planting on behalf of the Faculty of Reproductive and Sexual Healthcare, in remembrance of their friend and colleague Jane Hatfield.

Crossbones gardening
Thanks again to our wonderful team of volunteer gardeners who take care of the Graveyard every Friday 12-2pm, lead by Barney. If you’d like to volunteer your time as a Crossbones warden or gardener, please get in contact: hej@bost.org.uk.

Twelfth Night Sunday 9th January
The Lions part are pleased to be bringing Twelfth Night to Bankside on Sunday 9th January! Please visit their website for more details.

Crossbones Vision detailed design and construction workshops
We’ve hosted the first three of a series of workshops, in collaboration with U+I (who will one day be our new landlord) which will explore how we create our Vision for Crossbones, and help to ensure that contractors working on site do so with sensitivity.

Crossbones Vigil
Don’t forget that the Crossbones Vigil, held by Friends of Crossbones is on 23rd of every month at 7pm outside the gates on Redcross Way. See also: www.crossbones.org.uk.

Welcoming new wardens!Hello to our new wardens
Sarah and Duncan who have recently joined up. We can’t open the garden without our wonderful warden team. Thanks to all of you for your ongoing support and dedication! If you or your friends/family would like to become wardens, please contact me: hej@bost.org.uk.

Got an idea?As always, the best way to ‘weave Crossbones into the fabric of SE1’ is to get people involved on site. If you have an idea for an event, installation, tour, or other activity / initiative, I’d be delighted if you would get in contact with me via email, phone, WhatsApp, Signal etc. I’m back on 7th January). Let me know if you have a positive way of spreading the Crossbones story, and you’d like to speak to me in person. Best wishes Hej and the team at Bankside Open Spaces Trust

Mexican Ambassador and La Catrina at Cross Bones Graveyard

 
29th October 2021
 
Her Excellency The Mexican Ambassador, Josefa Gonzalez Blanco, visits the Garden of Remembrance to gift a statue of La Catrina, the Mexican skeleton lady who embodies the spirit of The Day of the Dead. The Mayor of Southwark and other local dignataries were there to welcome her. This personal message was read to her:
 
Dear Ambassador,
Katy and I are very sorry we can’t be here to welcome you in person today.
 
Thank you for your generous gift of La Catrina. She will enhance Cross Bones Graveyard as a sacred place and a sanctuary.
 
‘The Southwark Mysteries’ and our 25 years of working to reclaim and restore Cross Bones were inspired by local medieval folk-religion and shaped by many different cultural traditions.
 
The creation of the shrine to the outcast dead at the gates and the Mary shrine were strongly influenced by our visits to Mexico, and by the way the spirituality of the people is expressed in the traditions of the Virgin of Guadeloupe, the Day of the Dead and Santa Muerte.
 
We hope your interest in Cross Bones will continue and deepen. The support of the Mexican Embassy will help protect and promote Cross Bones as a place of pilgrimage. It will also powerfully underpin the excellent work of Bankside Open Spaces Trust to maintain this beautiful garden of remembrance.
 
If you were able to find a time next year, we’d be delighted to come up to London to meet to tell you more about the work at Cross Bones and its deep connections with Mexican culture.
 
With very best wishes,
John and Katy
Glastonbury, Somerset
 
 
 
 
 
The Shrine to the Outcast at Cross Bones was strongly influenced by Dia de los Muertos and other cultural traditions which enriched and informed our work to reestablish a native tradition to honour the spirits of the Ancestors. So we’re delighted that the Mexican Ambassador is now a strong supporter of Cross Bones Garden of Remembrance. La Catrina now has her own coffin-shelter (based on Lucy’s research into the Cross Bones burials), with her back to our Red Cross Mary shrine and facing the other way. So our guardians can now cover all angles – and watch each other’s backs!
 
La Catrina, and Mary, can now be seen in the Cross Bones garden. Check with bost.org.uk for current opening times.)
 
Some ‘authentic’ folk-traditions are born of open-hearted cultural cross-fertilisation.

ANCESTOR SOULS – online live stream

Sunday 31st October, in The Library of Avalon, Glastonbury, streamed online on Facebook Live
Doors open / pre-show with vibey drones from 7.30pm. Performance commences 7.57pm

Tickets for Online Live Stream available here £4.99 or £3.99 early bird
https://www.facebook.com/events/1170932786767317

A ritual performance of astral music, spirit songs and incantations by
Jenny Bliss Bennett, William Kraemer and John Crow Constable
 
‘Here the veil between the worlds dissolves:
the living, the dead, share the brew, break the bread,
Ancestor souls, converse and commune,
this Samhain night, by the light of a bone-white moon.’
 
In August, Jenny and William recorded an improvised session with John in which he recited his magical verses as they sang and played. Together they wove an enchantment which sparked their creative relationship. This is their first full public performance.
 
Jenny Bliss Bennett is a singer and virtuoso multi-instrumentalist.
William Kraemer is a versatile musician and synth-wizard. They regularly perform with their band Queen Space Baroque. https://queenspacebaroque.com/
 
John Constable aka John Crow is a playwright, poet and performer, best known for The Southwark Mysteries (Oberon Books). His work has been performed in Shakespeare’s Globe, Southwark Cathedral, at international festivals and in many rituals performed at Cross Bones Graveyard. Tonight he’ll perform his Samhain incantations from The Halloween of Cross Bones and new work inspired by his first year living in Glastonbury. http://crossbones.org.uk/john-constable/
 
For anyone living near Glastonbury, a few tickets are available for the concert itself in The Library of Avalon.
Tickets: £13.
Places strictly limited. Advance booking: https://www.eventbrite.com/…/ancestor-souls-tickets…

ANCESTOR SOULS

 
Sunday October 31st 2021 (doors open 7.30pm; doors close 7.57pm)
A ritual concert in The
Library of Avalon, Glastonbury
All Hallows Eve, Halloween, Samhain
Doors open: 7.30pm for pre-show with vibey drones.
NB the portal will close at 7.57pm when the show begins.
No late admissions. Please arrive in good time to relax and tune in.
Tickets £13. Places limited. Advance booking: https://www.eventbrite.com/…/ancestor-souls-tickets…
A limited number of paper tickets are on sale at The Speaking Tree bookshop.
 
A ritual performance of astral music, spirit songs and incantations by Jenny Bliss Bennett, William Kraemer and John Crow Constable:
 
‘Here the veil between the worlds dissolves: the living, the dead,
share the brew, break the bread,
Ancestor souls, converse and commune,
this Samhain night, by the light of a bone-white moon.’
 
In August, Jenny and William recorded an improvised session with John in which he recited his magical verses as they sang and played. Together they wove an enchantment which sparked their creative relationship. This is their first full public performance.
 
Jenny Bliss Bennett is a singer and virtuoso multi-instrumentalist. William Kraemer is a versatile musician and synth-wizard. They regularly perform with their band Queen Space Baroque.
https://queenspacebaroque.com/
 
John Constable aka John Crow is a playwright, poet and performer, best known for The Southwark Mysteries (Oberon Books). His work has been performed in Shakespeare’s Globe, Southwark Cathedral, at international festivals and in many rituals performed at Cross Bones Graveyard. Tonight he’ll perform his Samhain incantations from The Halloween of Cross Bones and new work inspired by his first year living in Glastonbury.
http://crossbones.org.uk/john-constable/
 
Tickets for the live concert in Library of Avalon (£13) adavance booking here: https://www.eventbrite.com/…/ancestor-souls-tickets…
 
Tickets for the Online Live Stream (£4.99 or £3.99 early bird) available here:

Crossbones Garden workshops

from the Crossbones October 2021 bulletin by Hej at Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST)

Crossbones Vision detailed design and construction workshops: As explained in the August bulletin, we’re going to host a series of workshops, in collaboration with U+I (who will one day be our new landlord) which will explore how we create our Vision for Crossbones, and help to ensure that contractors working on site do so with sensitivity. 

Workshops will be held at Crossbones, Liberty of Southwark or a nearby location. Luke, the landscape architect who many of you will know from the previous workshops a couple of years ago, will be helping to lead them with me and Hen from U+I.  Other professionals such as the archaeologists from the MOLA team at the Liberty of Southwark, as well as contractors creating bespoke elements, will be attending for some workshops as well. Refreshments will be provided. An outline of the workshops (exact times in the day TBC) is below:

Friday 5th November, AM: Introduction to the Crossbones Graveyard technical design workshops: Recap on the Crossbones Graveyard Vision and planning documents submitted. Q and A session, especially for new Crossbones supporters. Look at workshop programme and suggest any issues/ topics people would also like to discuss.

Saturday 20th November, PM: Boundaries: new railings, new walls, repairs to the ribboned gates and how, working with Friends of Crossbones, we remove and store ribbons and then reattach them.

Friday 3rd December, AM: Water and electricity. Looking at the location of these new utilities and whether disturbance to the ground may be required. Possible visit next door to see Liberty of Southwark dig – tour with MOLA and Q and A session.

Friday 7th January, AM: Structures on site: new ramps, pergolas and shelters. Description of how they might be built e.g. using sustainable timber, metalwork, etc – artisans we’ll be working with will also be joining us – see below.

January/February TBC: Surfacing.  How will create the crack crosses? Possible field trip to see kinds of concrete used in different settings, in London if we can e.g. local walk to Tate.

February TBC: Summary of discussions. Q and A session. Next steps. Look at construction programme. 

Please let me know if you’d like to join any of the workshops….bear in mind that spaces are limited and I will be reserving spaces first for our regular Crossbones volunteers. If you are not able to join us, please let me know if there is anything you’d like asked on your behalf.  I’ll be sharing notes from the workshops via the bulletin.

Workshops will be topic specific and owing to time constraints, we will not have an opportunity to have broader discussions. If you’d like, for instance, to discuss the Liberty of Southwark development, please contact Hen at U+I directly (see note below).

To register to receive BOST’s free monthly Crossbones bulletins, please email: @hej@bost.org.uk

Southwark Cathedral burial grounds talks

 
Saturday 23rd October 10am – 4pm
 
Southwark Cathedral are delighted to host a day of talks exploring burial grounds, cemeteries and funerals.
 
Speakers include: Lucy Coleman Talbot: St Saviour’s Black Flag: Crossbones Graveyard and The Church

The Church’s history with Crossbones Graveyard is usually confined to some distant past. The myth that this is the final resting place of the Winchester Geese, sex workers licensed by the Bishop of Winchester yet denied Christian burial, is just the beginning of a long and complex story. Lucy will bring this story to light, by presenting her PhD research. Which traces this contentious relationship through time to present day.

Lucy has just completed her PhD examining the Crossbones Graveyard in Southwark, London, where she also volunteers and advocates for it’s protection.

‘We Are Here’

 
21-30 October 2021 in Cross Bones Garden (Wed, Thur, Fri 12-2pm) FREE
 
‘We Are Here’ is a physical manifestation of Lucy Coleman Talbot’s PhD research efforts to locate documented information about those buried at Crossbones. A range of reconstructions of coffins will be installed on Crossbones Graveyard, bearing the names of people known to be buried at the ground.
 
The installations can be viewed during regular garden opening hours: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 12pm-2pm and also Sunday 24th October 3.30pm-5pm. The viewings are FREE.
 
On Sunday 31st October 2pm – 4pm, Lucy will talk about the installation and share some of the burial ground’s history. Autumnal refreshments (vegan and gluten free) will also be available. Please book via eventbrite here. Many thanks to Lucy and sculptor Adrian (who also created our beautiful skull donation box) for making this installation possible.
 
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