Saturday, 15 May 2010

Borough Market to Cross Bones Graveyard

The Borough Market is featured in maps of the city dating back to 1542 and is the city’s oldest fruit and vegetable market. Documents from 1671 confirm its trading boundary and it was moved to the present location in 1754.

As a wholesale and retail market it has a reputation for selling the finest quality fruit & veg but is becoming more of a tourist attraction selling mainly food cooked in the market.

Cross Bones Graveyard is only a stones throw from the Borough Market in Redcross Way. The gates to an anonymous plot of land have evolved into a post Princess Diana type shrine. A plaque explains why. “In medieval times this was an unconsecrated graveyard for prostitutes or ‘Winchester Geese’. By the 18th century it had become a pauper’s burial ground, which closed in 1853. Here local people have created a memorial shrine. The outcast dead. R.I.P.”

Cross Bones is a long forgotten burial ground for “single women,” a euphemism for prostitutes, as the church would not allow them to be buried on hallowed ground. It's ironic as for 500 years the Bishop of Winchester collected rent from all the local brothels. Hence the term Winchester Geese.

The shrine, created by the local community, includes a bottle of holy water and a bottle of gin which I'm sure would have been appreciated by the ladies who now rest in peace in Cross Bones Graveyard.

Cheers Bernie.

View Borough Market & Cross Bones Graveyard in a larger map

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