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This is the wonderful, beautiful and absolutely spectacular Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol. We in cemeterial circles speak of 'The Magnificent Seven', which refers to 7 enormous and grand old Victorian cemeteries in or close to the capital - Highgate is one of them. I would like to add an eighth to that list, the absolutely immense Brookwood, near Guildford in Surry, and thus close enough to the capital to qualify. It's so big you really need to (and certainly used to be able to; I haven't been there for a long time) drive around it, stopping to click away wherever you like.

However, I think there should be a national list of wonderful and breathtaking cemeteries, those perhaps not in the capital, but merely in England. Top of this secondary list would be this one, Arnos Vale in Bristol. It's a cracker.

It's situated more or less at the base of often quite steep and sometimes quite deep hills and valleys, and over the years it's spread both up and down. Many parts of it are rather dense ancient forest, and you could be forgiven for missing some of the graves. Indeed, as you will see in some of the pics, some of the 'down there' graves are really inaccessible.

So the cemetery is, in my view, in three parts - the level area near the entrance, the uphill area, and the down there area.

See what you think - and if you're a photographer who has not yet experienced a good cemetery, I guarantee you'll want to after seeing what I found here.












This cemetery is close to the centre of a large city, so we can expect to see plenty of soot and atmospheric chemically-induced damage to the stone










The Watercolourist contemplates his subject










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No idea who he was or why he got such a splendid grave










Much of the cemetery is left at the mercy of nature










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I will never apologise for or try to explain my black and white interpretations










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I found the rear view of this angel to be the optimum










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In the deep dark steep wooded section of the cemetery I'd defy you to actually approach some of the graves










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Just try to get to this little section!










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Among the most beautiful angels I've ever seen. These ladies seem to be enhanced by the black staining










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A dreamcatcher. Presumably left by children during a school visit










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A strange and beautiful design, unique in my experience









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