Touching inscriptions to departed pets still mark the burial spots for hundreds of beloved animal companions buried between 1881 and 1915.
Beginning with the internment of a Maltese terrier named Cherry, owned by friends of the park gatekeeper at the time, the tiny cemetery stayed open to burials until space ran out at the beginning of the 20th century. Although most of the headstones with inscriptions like “Darling Dolly – my sunbeam, my consolation, my joy” and “Prince. He asked for so little and gave so much” to the touching “In memory of our darling little Bobbit. When our lonely lives are over and our spirits from this earth shall roam, we hope he’ll be there waiting to give us a welcome home” show testimony for the Victorians’ love for their dogs and cats. There are also at least three monkeys and several birds remembered here as well.
The cemetery sits inside Hyde Park’s 350 acres – which have been open to the public as parklands since 1637 – tucked away by the gatekeeper’s cottage.
Today the cemetery is managed by the Royal Parks, and is only visible through fences unless a special visit is arranged.
Know Before You Go
Located in Victoria Gate Lodge’s garden on Bayswater Road. The Pet Cemetery is not open to the general public, although, a special one-hour viewing can be arranged by contacting The Royal Parks. The cost is £60.00 for up to six people. The cemetery is possible to view from the outside by peering through the protective gate that surrounds the guard house.
To find the cemetary, cross to the park side of Bayswater Road, between Lancaster Gate tube station and West Carriage Drive that runs through the park.
It's possible to view the rows of graves through the wrought iron railings, although it is largely obscured by undergrowth and screens.
Although there is level access at any time outside the park, the four foot wall may prove a barrier.