London

Listed status for writers' Bunhill Fields Cemetery

Gravestones in Bunhill Fields
Image caption The cemetery offers 'solace and beauty' in central London

A cemetery in central London where some of English literature's greatest names are buried is to be given Grade I protected status.

Robinson Crusoe author Daniel Defoe and poet William Blake - who wrote the words of the hymn Jerusalem - are both buried at Bunhill Fields Cemetery.

Also buried there is Pilgrim's Progress writer John Bunyan.

The cemetery has now been entered on the national Register of Parks and Gardens by English Heritage.

It means special consent must be applied for to make any changes to the site.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has separately listed 75 of its tombs.

David Garrard of English Heritage said: "Bunhill Fields has long fascinated historians and romantics alike and is considered the terra sancta of English Nonconformity.

"With its distinctive atmosphere and impressive monuments the cemetery offers both solace and beauty in the middle of our busy city.

"Few places nationally document religious history as vividly or with such poignancy as Bunhill Fields and we welcome the minister's endorsement of our advice to list the 75 individual tombs."

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