Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Cemetery Cats in Tunbridge Wells

 I really enjoyed sharing my photographs at a recent talk I gave entitled  Elysian Fields : A photographic presentation of memorial gardens in Tunbridge Wells for the AGM of The Friends of Woodbury Park Cemetery. When selecting the photographs I was reminded of a tour around Highgate when the group I was with were listening earnestly to our guide and then a cat appeared and suddenly we were all distracted, cameras out trying to capture the cat with our lenses. It is almost as if we hold our breath when we enter a cemetery, as though all is hushed and that a sudden movement of a bird, fox or even a cat is a joyful reminder of life.
 So here are three of the cats that I have encountered in my early morning strolls around Tunbridge Wells.
I have given them names according to the tombs that they frequent.

Above is Harriet in Woodbury Park Cemetery. She favours the serpentine walkway and is very friendly. Dressed in Victorian black she is quite happy to watch you with mournful eyes as you stroll by.

Meet Thomas, a great name for a ginger tom. He frequents the tomb of two of the children of Sir Thomas Fairbairn, that great Victorian industrialist. He keeps an eye on Arthur and Constance, now that the beautiful marble statue of them, sculptured by Thomas Woolner has been removed for safe keeping. He can be found in Tunbridge Wells Cemetery at Hawkenbury.

Back in Woodbury Park, here is Swift and you can see why he has been given that name. Found on the outskirts of the Cemetery, Swift is nervous and inclined to dart quickly into the undergrowth if you move too quickly. On misty mornings he fades into the low light and you may just see him flashing his eyes at you from the bushes.

Friends of Woodbury Park Cemetery

Friends of Tunbridge Wells Cemetery


  1. A lovely post Caroline. Really inspired. xx

  2. how true, it is that moment when we spot "life" in the cemetery, that has all of our camera lenses captured......
    Shirl Knobloch
    Author and Artist
    Gettysburg, PA

  3. Cemetery cats are amazing creatures. Lovely post.

    Beneath Thy Feet