The Secret Pet Cemetery of Hyde Park
Hyde Park's Pet Cemetery was started in 1881 by the gatekeeper at Victoria Lodge, a Mr Winbridge, who started burying dogs in the lodge's garden.
The first dog to be buried was called Cherry, a Maltese Terrier, who died of old age. The tombstone reads ‘Poor Cherry. Died April 28. 1881’
Cherry’s owners used to visit the park regularly and were friends of Mr Winbridge, so when Cherry died they thought it would be a fitting tribute to be buried in Hyde Park.
The park's pet cemetery is not easy to find and isn’t really publicised.
While modern-day pet cemeteries are at an all time high, with burial grounds lovingly cared for in several places across the country from Sussex to Carlisle, this rare part of Victorian London is well worth seeking out.
The inscriptions the headstones are simple statements of affection for trusted companions:
‘Our dear wee Butcha, 31 Jan 1894’.
‘Darling Cupid, 1898’
‘Sandy. A faithful friend for 12 years, May 1900’