A fascinating, though slightly chilling, thing to do is to visit the graves of the various people connected with the Jack the Ripper case.
They are, after all, figures that we have read about time and time again. So, to find yourself standing relatively close to their final resting places can be a truly moving experience.
ST PATRICK’S CEMETERY
Take St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cemetery, for example.
This was the cemetery to which the funeral cortège of Mary Kelly wound its way from St Leonard’s Church in Shoreditch, on the 19th of November 1888.
We are told that thousands of people, lined the way and that men and women alike could barely contain their emotions as the procession passed them by.
Today, all traces of Mary Kelly’s exact resting place are lost.
The plot in which she lies was, initially, a common burial ground and it has been reused since 1988.
But, a gravestone does mark the approximate spot where her remains are thought to lie and, as a consequence, it is to this spot that people make their way to lay flowers and other tributes on the grave of Mary Jeanette Kelly, the final victim of Jack the Ripper.
HOW TO VISIT HER GRAVE
If you do want to join those who have made the pilgrimage out to the cemetery and pay a visit to the grave, this is how you do it.
St Patrick’s Cemetery is very close to Leyton Underground Station – so close, in fact, that you can actually see it from the platform of the station.
So, you’ll need to make your way to Leyton Station, which is on the Central Line. The journey to the station takes approximately 20 – 25 minutes by tube from Oxford Circus, just to give you an idea of how much time to allow.
FROM THE STATION TO THE CEMETERY
On arrival, exit Leyton Station and turn left along Leyton High Road. Keep ahead past the bus stop – incidentally, if you want to visit Elizabeth Stride’s grave on the same day, you can come back to this bus stop and take the 69 bus all the way to the East London Cemetery, where Liz Stride is buried.
But, returning to the directions to Mary Kelly’s grave, turn left along Calderon Road, and keep ahead along its left side. A few roads along, go left into Elmore Road, then first right into Langthorne Road and, a short way along on the left, you will see the gates to St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cemetery, Leytonstone.
DIRECTIONS INSIDE THE CEMETERY
Go in through the cemetery gates and keep ahead, passing to the left of the chapel building.
Pause by the two white posts on the left and, to their left, you will see the grave of the McCarthy family, with a large standing angel on top of it. Amongst those buried here is John McCarthy, who was Mary Kelly’s landlord.
ONWARDS TO MARY KELLY’S GRAVE
Continue past the McCarthy family grave and follow the path as it bends right and then turn left along the path, just after the tree. When you reach a waste bin on the right, built from pale green stone blocks, look ahead and right past a stone cross and you will see a white statue of a footballer.
Just past that, you will find the grave of Mary Kelly.
You will see that, despite the fact that the inscription appears to be somewhat worn away, people have come here and left flowers to her memory.
The inscription on it reads:- “In Loving Memory of Marie Jeanette Kelly”, followed by the poignant lines “None But The Lonely Hearts Can Know My Sadness, Love Lives Forever.”
So, there are the directions to reach the grave of Mary Kelly.
Linger for as long as you wish, and then make your way back to Leyton Station for the journey back into central London.
VISIT THE GRAVE OF ELIZABETH STRIDE
As mentioned earlier, if you wish to visit the grave of Elizabeth Stride, then take the 69 bus from just before Leyton Station. You will need to get off at Grove Road, Plaistow, E13.
The bus stop is directly opposite the gates to the East London Cemetery. I’ll post directions to Liz Stride’s Grave in a future blog. In the meantime, if you head there, just nip into Cemetery Office, located on the right just inside the gates, and they will give you directions to the grave.
Once you’ve visited her grave, you can take the 69 bus back to Stratford Bus Station and you can then take the Central Line from Stratford back to central London.
VISIT DR REES RALPH LLEWELLYN’S GRAVE
You could also, if you wish, get off at Mile End Station, one stop past Stratford, and pay a visit to the grave of Dr Rees Ralph Llewellyn, the doctor who attended the murder scene of Mary Nichols on the 31st August 1888. You can read the full details of how to find his grave on this previous blog.