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King’s Lynn cemetery walk reveals lives and loves of Victorian women

Steph Hall standing by the grave of Catherine Brown, which will be included in a guided walk around Hardwick Cemetery in King's Lynn, about Victorian women. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Steph Hall standing by the grave of Catherine Brown, which will be included in a guided walk around Hardwick Cemetery in King's Lynn, about Victorian women. Picture: Matthew Usher.

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She travelled all the way from Wells to India to find a husband, died on her return to England and was buried in King’s Lynn.

The lives and times of Victorian women like Mary Kelly will be explored in a special walk and open afternoon at Lynn’s Hardwick Road Cemetery on Sunday.

Mary met a maharajah’s soldier and bore him two sons, but she passed away at the age of 41 on her voyage back to Southampton, in 1874.

Mystery surrounds whoever paid for the pink, granite obelisk which marks her passing.

Elsewhere, a mosaic-clad memorial marks the grave of Catherine Brown, a builder’s wife who died when an excursion train retruning from Hunstanton collided with a bull on the line and de-railed.

Elsewhere there are mothers and daughters, servants - and even the odd whiff of a below-stairs scandal.

“There’s a housekeeper and master, buried in the same tomb after being together for 50 years,” said Stephanie Hall, secretary of the Friends of Hardwick Cemetery, who will be leading the guided walk.

“We’ve had loads of walks focussing on the great and good, but the women have been ignored a little bit, so my husband Ian and I decided to research the ladies. They’re absolutely fascinating.”

The walk takes place at 2pm on Sunday, voluntary donations of £4 will be requested from those taking part to help towards the cemetery’s upkeep.


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