Image credit Flickr User Claudia_Dias
In the mid-1900s the British railway system was undergoing great expansion and part of St Pancras Churchyard was designated for demolition in order to make way for a new railway line. Famous British author, Thomas Hardy, was apprenticed to architect Arthur Blomfield during this time and was assigned the task of excavating the cemetery, a project that had to be handled with respect and sensitivity. The coffins were reburied elsewhere and "some of the headstones were placed in a circular pattern around a young ash tree in the churchyard of St Pancras Old Church, far enough away from the site of the railway for them never to have to be disturbed again. Over the decades the tree has, inevitably grown and parts of the headstones nearest the tree have disappeared in to its growth."