Hidden in the woods behind Conyngham Hall, in the historic market town of Knaresborough, lies a Victorian pet cemetery. Its 24 kennel-shaped graves date from between 1859 to 1932 and bear names such as Buncle, Kelpie, and Nero.
Some believe that these are the graves of animals belonging to Knaresborough Zoo, which was once housed on the grounds of Conyngham Hall. But seeing as the zoo didn’t open until 1965, this theory doesn’t hold much water.
A more likely explanation is that the cemetery was added by Basil T. Woodd, who was Knaresborough’s Conservative MP between 1852 and 1874, and resident of the hall when the first graves were added. Alongside Basil’s own pets are memorials to the companions of Conyngham’s later occupants, with the most modern graves likely belonging to the pets of Sir Harold Mackintosh, the Halifax Toffee Magnate and creator of Quality Street.
Know Before You Go
The small graveyard can be found in the grounds of Conyngham Hall, on the edge of Knaresborough. Look for the tennis courts and the nearby ice cream kiosk, and the cemetery lies just behind at the edge of the woodland.