Cemeteries and graveyards, full of love, betrayal, tragic deaths, murder and suicide. What will you find?...

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Cliveden House - Pet Cemetery, Taplow, Buckinghamshire



Taphophilia is a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries. The singular term is a taphophile.


The 'burials' date from 1874 - 1956 and contain mainly dogs and a few horses or ponies, unfortunately I can find no information on the history of the pet cemetery, or whether all the animals belonged to the same family, the Astors of Cliveden House.  It's in the Ilex Grove part of the grounds and sadly is not very well maintained or even sign posted.  We just happened across it.

There has been a house on the site at Cliveden, meaning - valley among cliffs, in Taplow Buckinghamshire since 1666.  The present house was built in 1851 and is a Grade I listed Italianate mansion.  In 1893 the estate was purchased by William Waldolf Astor, 1st Viscount Astor.  He became a virtual recluse after the death of his wife Mary Dahlgren Paul in 1894.  In 1906 Viscount Astor gave Cliveden and its ground to his son Waldorf on his marriage to Nancy Langhorne. The Astor family remained at Cliveden until 1969 when the house and grounds were leased by Stanford University.  The house is now owned by The National Trust and is a Luxuary Hotel.

It seems that most of the pet 'burials' took place during the time the Astor family resided at Cliveden.  It is such a shame that no more is known of this peaceful resting place for man and woman's best friends.


"Christoper, A favourite pony"


"Flossie"


"Missie"


"Chono"


"Laddie"


"Trixie"


"Baloo"

"Doushky"


"Dixie"


"Daphne"


"Midget"


"Blennie"


"Pugsy, dear pug"


"Tommy"


"Wallace"


"Snuff"


"Traffic Light"


There is another more famous pet cemetery in Hyde Park, London.  To read more about it, click here.


For more Taphophile Tragics, please click here.

27 comments:

  1. This is lovely. Perhaps it's OK that it isn't maintained, the precious souls will not be disturbed x.

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    1. The only problem is that nature is now reclaiming many of the stones.

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  2. It's a shame not to know more. Why call a dog (presumably) Puppy when it had quite a long life? It's nice when you have a bit more detail like with the pony and the pug.

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    1. Victorians were not well known for their imaginative pet names. On the link to the Hyde Park Pet Cemetery there is a pet called Nigger.

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  3. It would be so interesting to know how such a pet cemetery evolved! If it s connected with the Aster family, the cemetery could even reveal a little more of their lives! Interesting photos!

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    1. I did contact the National Trust to ask them if they had any information at akll on the cemetery. I never received a reply, so I am guessing they don't know.

      It was our third visit to Cliveden as I wanted to photograph the war cemetery there. On the way my six year old daughter was running through the trees when she exclaimed, 'it looks like a cemetery here.' And that's how we came across it.

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  4. Nice blog I think pets are worth remembering after all they are only with us a short time and don't ask for much but give us a lot.

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    1. My thoughts exactly. There are many modern pet cemeteries and remeberance gardens around the country.

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  5. I like the one called 'Daphne' and wonder what sort of pet it may have been. What do you think? A dog? A floppy shaggy thing ... or perhaps a Shetland pony, unkempt mane, and roughly shod ... with a penchant for straw hats ... and not keen on youngsters on her back ...

    The stones look to be of slate and routinely cut. Perhaps pay a couple of quid to the gate-keeper on the way it ...

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    1. I like your thinking. Some of the names are quite awesome.

      Clivden House and it's grounds are owned by the National Trust , so you either pay a yearly membership fee or an entrance fee to get in. I understand that they rely on donations and fees, but why not let people know these stones exist? It's not mentioned anywhere in their information online or in their leaflets.

      It just seems odd to me, but then maybe I'm odd to want to visit a pet cemetery.

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  6. Interesting, I didn't know that pet cemeteries went back so far. Nice that people had a place to bury their beloved family members. :)

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    1. The Victorians were mad on pet cemeteries. Sadly not many remain today. However there has been somewhat of a revival and there are many modern pet cemeteries and rememberance gardens in the UK

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  7. If this is a luxury hotel, they may not want their guests knowing there is a cemetery of any kind on the grounds. Some people - who are not like us - are a bit odd about that sort of thing!

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    1. I don't thik that is the case as the grounds contain a well known war cemetery, which wasthe main reason for our visit that day.

      However, I can understand how a cemetery in the gorunds could be off putting to some.

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  8. How interesting! It is appropriate that we have pet cemeteries seeing how attached we become to our companion animals during their life.

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    1. I think so too. Thank you for your comment.

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  9. I've never seen such an old pet cemetery --- enjoyed looking at your photos

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  10. so very different from the pet cemetery that i visited here in boston!
    i like yours better.
    the name flossie is cute. i had a stuffed animal that i had named fluffy...

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    1. They do have some great names, don't they. Sadly pet cemeteries fell out of fashion after the Victorian era.

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  11. I never knew there was a pet cemetery there and we used to visit Clivden all the time. Obviously, we didn't explore enough!

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    1. It's well hidden in the trees. Personally I think Cliveden should make more of it. Imagaine the amount of visitors that would love to see a pet cemetery. Okay, just me then.

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  12. I was not familiar with the term taphophilia until now. I think cemeteries are fun to peruse. These pet owners have so much devotion to their pets.

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  13. Toad Hall Garden center near Henley is in the grounds of Fawley Court has a pet cemetery. Worth a look.

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    1. Thank you. I will definitely check it out!

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  14. fantastic - have you seen the pet graveyard at Hughenden Park? Saw you by chance in the paper and loved the sound of your blog

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    1. Thank you for visiting and thank you for your comment. Unfrtunately I haven't seen the pet cemetery at Hugheden Park. In all honestly I have yet to venture far from home. But I hope to do so in the near future. Thanks again

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