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Sun, 27 Aug


Location is TBD

The Magnificent Seven

Get ready to saddle up and join us for "The Magnificent Seven Ride" on August 27th, 2023 at 7:30 AM for an unforgettable adventure

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The Magnificent Seven
The Magnificent Seven

Time & Location

27 Aug 2023, 07:30

Location is TBD

About the Event

The "Magnificent Seven" is an informal term applied to seven large private cemeteries in London. They were established in the 19th century to alleviate overcrowding in existing parish burial grounds as London’s population grew during the Victorian era.

This ride will start earlier than most rides and will be a full days riding at a fast pace.

The ride will start in Rotherhithe (location to be confirmed just before the ride)

  • Date / Time - Sunday 27th August 2023 - Meet 07:30am to leave at 08:00
  • Ride start Location - Roterhithe (location to be confirmed just before the ride)
  • Ride length - TBC expect 50+ miles
  • Eleveation Gain TBC
  • Ride Leader - Alex

The Magnificent Seven are seven generally overgrown Victorian Gothic garden cemeteries, all within a 9 km (5.5 miles) distance of St Paul’s Cathedral. They provide some of the few substantial areas of woodland, scrub and rough grassland close to central London and all are managed to some degree for their wildlife.

The seven cemeteries are:

Abney Park Cemetery - Best for: rebels

Brompton Cemetery - Best for: family walks

Highgate Cemetery - Best for: first-timers

Kensal Green Cemetery - Best for History Buffs

Nunhead Cemetery - Best for: those seeking a bit of peace and quiet

Tower Hamlets Cemetery - Best for: urban green space

West Norwood Cemetery - Best for: something different


In 1800 the population of London was 1 million but it increased rapidly to reach 2.3 million by 1850. Such rapid population growth resulted in a lack of burial space. The city’s small parish churchyards became dangerously overcrowded, leading to decaying matter getting into the water supply and causing epidemics of diseases such as cholera. There were instances of body snatching, bodies left out to rot or not buried deep enough and bodies cleared from graves too soon.

In 1832 Parliament passed a Bill authorising the establishment of a chain of privately operated garden cemeteries around the outskirts of the metropolis to alleviate the scandal of overcrowded city graveyards. Seven cemeteries opened between 1832 and 1841. In 1850 Parliament passed the Metropolitan Interments Act (succeeded two years later by the Metropolitan Burials Act), closing all inner London churchyards and crypts to further burial.

By the early 20th century, most of the garden cemeteries (apart from Brompton, which had been nationalised) were falling into disrepair, for a variety of reasons. By the 1960s most of them were no longer financially viable and their formerly landscaped grounds were left to nature. Shrubs and plants engulfed and destroyed the catacombs and headstones and the sites gradually became woodland. Eventually they were acquired by local council and are now maintained with the help of volunteer groups.

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