Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/135

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123
OPEN SPACES.

I regret to say that an attempt to induce the Quakers to appropriate to the same purpose a burial-ground belonging to them in Bunhill Fields has utterly failed. The ground was one which would have been of almost more value for the purpose than any I know in London. It is close to Whitecross Street, which some of you may know as a street quite swarming with costermongers; the houses there are tunnelled every few yards with archways leading to as crowded courts as I know anywhere. Many houses of the poor actually overlooked the ground. In Coleman Street, which bounds the ground on the north, is a factory from which crowds of workmen turn out daily at dinner-time, many, no doubt, to adjourn to the public-house. But one hot day last summer, when I was there, dozens of them were sitting on the dusty pavement, their backs leaning against the great, dead, heated wall, which hid from them the space occupied by the burial-ground. There is not a tombstone