22. February 2011 · Comments Off on The resting place of Blake’s bones. · Categories: Society News

The British government has declared Bunhill Fields to have Grade I listed status, designating it as a site of “exceptional interest” and “internationally important.” Grade I status is the highest protection available to sites in the UK. It does not prevent changes to a site, but rather, is an official recognition of its cultural heritage.

Maev Kennedy has covered the status change in the Guardian,  however, she writes that Blake’s “bones were lost in a partial clearance and landscaping in the 19th century.” In fact, Blake’s bones were never disturbed or lost and remain where they were interred at 32,77,9. The first two numbers record the position within Bunhill Fields by reference to NS and EW coordinates and the final number 9 specifies the depth in feet. There were 8 people interred in this plot with 3 below and four above Blake’s body.

The Blake Society is continuing work with local authorities who administer the site on a project to replace Blake’s gravestone, which, as Kennedy notes, is “exceptionally plain.” We are currently raising funds to mark the exact place of burial with a ledger stone designed by the Cardozo Kindersley Workshop, thereby commemorating Blake with art of the highest quality, and continuing to support the apprenticeship-style of trade education through which Blake developed his own skills.

Donations to the Blake Grave Project may be made here.

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