I have discovered over the last few years, that what starts out as being perfectly routine research, can ultimately lead you far away from where you had originally started from.
And in a completely different place altogether.
This is one of those things.
I received an email yesterday in regard to suspicions of certain ‘satanic’ practices going on at Brompton Cemetery in west London when it gets dark, long after the visitors have left and the gates are locked.
I am hoping to cover that in far greater detail in a later article when more information becomes available.
I believe that much of our hidden history, as well as many darker secrets, are to be found lurking among these easily overlooked and silent places which are often found in the centre of our busiest cities and towns.
While familiarising myself with the history of Brompton Cemetery, I stumbled upon something interesting and which has taken me down a completely different route.
A TIME MACHINE….
One hell of a detour I would have to agree, but as the articles reproduced here show, there are still so many things yet to be learned.
Not only in dusty archives or secretive museum storage facilities, but right in front of our eyes, underneath our feet and simply crying out for further research and ultimate discovery.
This is the article which sparked my interest:
London’s Egyptian Time Machine.
Located in London’s Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Brompton Cemetery is arguably one of the most stunning Victorian cemeteries in the world.
It covers roughly 40 acres and houses more than 35,000 monuments, which mark the resting place of more than 205,000 burials. Populated by birds, foxes and friendly squirrels, it provides visitors with an oasis of greenery studded with marble headstones, mausolea, and contemplative stone angels.
And possibly, half-hidden amongst the shrubbery, one very mysterious time-machine.
An imposing mausoleum, decorated with elaborate Egyptian-like figures, houses a mysterious trio of spinsters about whom almost nothing is known.
The wealthy Courtoy spinsters, an unmarried mother and her two daughters, are reputed to be buried inside, but the key is missing and the huge bronze door has not been opened in 120 years.
Nor can any plans can be found for the mausoleum, setting it apart from other structures in Brompton cemetery, which required careful planning and schematics to be approved.
The mother, Hannah Courtoy, died in 1848 but the tomb was not completed until 1853, when her body was moved into it.
The imposing trapezoid of dark polished granite is twenty feet tall and decorated with narrow bands of carved hieroglyphics – not surprising, when one discovers that the builders of the mausoleum were Samuel Warner, an eccentric Victorian inventor, and Joseph Bonomi, an architect and Egyptologist.
Bonomi was part of the team that first deciphered the hieroglyphic texts found on papyri in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.
Some speculate that the text he studied discussed the possibility of time travel, a topic which fascinated the Victorians.
At the time of his death, Samuel Warner was in negotiations over his plans for aerial bombs and sea mines with the Duke of Wellington, and his unmarked grave lies nearby.
Sixty feet away, Bonomi’s gravestone bears similar hieroglyphic carvings to those found on the mausoleum, including a portrait of Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead. Anubis appears to be sitting on a depiction of the mausoleum and staring in its direction.
To add to the mystery of the site, some people believe that Samuel Warner was either murdered to prevent his designs for weapons falling into the wrong hands, or by someone who stole them from his dead body.
Others believe that Warner was a fraud and conman whose inventions never worked.
Together, Bonomi and Warner may have developed plans to build a time machine, and gathered financial support for their venture from the wealthy, eccentric Courtoy ladies.
Maybe the women wanted to cheat death and travel into the future.
Perhaps they felt no one would suspect that a building in an isolated corner of a graveyard could be an experimental doorway through time.
After death, they vanished as surely from the face of the world as if they had stepped out of this era and into another, for there is also almost no trace of the Courtoy spinsters.
They left no records of their existence, even though the opulence of their tomb suggests they were immensely wealthy.
Like with many mysterious tales there is an alternative version which says that the tomb is one of five ‘teleportation’ chambers designed by Joseph Bonomi and built by his occult partner the Clerkenwell inventor Samuel Alfred Warner.
TIME, SPACE AND THE CITY.
Amongst several other inventions, Warner claimed to have developed a mysterious missile capable of destroying ships from a distance.
The Royal Navy were convinced enough by his demonstrations to pay him to develop this new weaponry but proved unable to reproduce his results independently.
This was because what Warner had allegedly discovered (with the help of ancient knowledge gained by Bonomi in Egypt) was an occult way of ‘teleporting’ a bomb a short distance – a ‘psychic torpedo’ if you like.
The Navy withdrew all funding for the project however.
Disappointed but undaunted, Warner and Bonomi found a new sponsor, Lord Kilmorey, who encouraged them to attempt to use the occult method of teleportation in a much grander but still hopefully commercial way.
They conceived of the idea of a transportation grid around London to reduce the time taken to travel the large distances of the vast, congested metropolis.
To this end they built seven Egyptian teleportation chambers in the most suitable places they could find – in each of the seven new cemeteries that had been built in the capital from 1839.
The chamber that people mistake for a time machine in Brompton cemetery is just one of the seven and it is sadly rather dilapidated now.
(It did give rise to the idea of the Tardis in the Doctor Who stories however.)
Whether any of them actually worked as intended is now of course a moot point.
There are similar ones at Highgate and Kensal Rise cemeteries.
Some of the seven appear to have entirely vanished, as did Samuel Warner himself, although whether this was as a result of the normal processes of time or by becoming lost whilst teleporting who can really say?
Bonomi took his secrets and his knowledge to his grave – a rather modest one – in Brompton cemetery.
Ironically, of the several ways of now getting quickly around London, one of the ones that has become more popular is ‘The Brompton’ – a fold-up portable bicycle.
Teleportation, Psychic/Time Travel, a secret network of underground tunnels beneath City streets, Ley Lines, Royal Scandals, Secret Assignations when the gates are locked?
Who knows for sure, but Brompton and many other Victorian Cemeteries are almost certainly hiding a multitude of secrets waiting to be uncovered.
To be continued….