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Monument to Mary Benson and Adjoining Headstone, West Enclosure

A Grade II Listed Building in Islington, Islington

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Latitude: 51.5235 / 51°31'24"N

Longitude: -0.0894 / 0°5'21"W

OS Eastings: 532646

OS Northings: 182242

OS Grid: TQ326822

Mapcode National: GBR S8.21

Mapcode Global: VHGQT.DYLY

Entry Name: Monument to Mary Benson and Adjoining Headstone, West Enclosure

Listing Date: 21 February 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1396528

English Heritage Legacy ID: 508569

Location: Islington, London, EC1Y

County: Islington

Electoral Ward/Division: Bunhill

Built-Up Area: Islington

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Giles Cripplegate

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text

21-FEB-11 Monument to Mary Benson and adjoining
headstone, West enclosure

Two headstones, mid-C18

LOCATION: 532646.2, 182241.6

MATERIALS: Portland stone

DESCRIPTION: The monument to Mary Benson is an upright slab with a scrolled and pedimented top, beneath which are carved in low relief a scroll, crossed bones and a winged skull. A worn inscription panel below records the details of Mary Benson's life, and gives the date of her death as 1739.

The unidentified monument immediately to the south is taller and more elaborate, having a scrolled segmental top with an hourglass, three skulls and assorted bones carved in high relief. Beneath, two pilasters in the form of caryatids frame a bowed panel, its inscription now almost completely illegible.

HISTORY: Bunhill Fields was first enclosed as a burial ground in 1665. Thanks to its location just outside the City boundary, and its independence from any Established place of worship, it became London's principal Nonconformist cemetery, the burial place of John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, William Blake and other leading religious and intellectual figures. It was closed for burials in 1853, laid out as a public park in 1867, and re-landscaped following war damage by Bridgewater and Shepheard in 1964-5.

SOURCES: Corporation of London, A History of the Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (1902).
A W Light, Bunhill Fields (London, 1915).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to Mary Benson and its neighbour are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* They represent particularly ornate and relatively well-preserved examples of early-C18 Baroque tomb sculpture.
* They are located within the Grade I registered Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (q.v.), and has group value with the other listed tombs in the west enclosure.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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