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There were plans for a ‘death pyramid’ in London that could have stored millions of bodies

Stewart Perrie

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There were plans for a ‘death pyramid’ in London that could have stored millions of bodies

London's skyline has some fairly iconic buildings.

The city has the Gherkin, the Shard, the London Eye, Big Ben, the Walkie Talkie and loads more.

All of these landmarks are usually bustling with loads of people, whether they're workers or tourists lapping up the view.

But there could have been another legendary monument that would have taken people's attention for a morbid reason.

London had plans for a 'death pyramid' that would have been higher than St Paul's Cathedral and would've been able to house millions of bodies.

Architect Thomas Wilson came up with the plans for the Metropolitan Sepulchre in the 1800s and eyed Primrose Hill for the construction location.

It was designed to address the city's lack of space for the dead at the time.

Credit: Guildhall Library
Credit: Guildhall Library

Wilson said at the time: "Not many centuries will pass away before it will not only be completely filled, but that another one will be required."

Catharine Arnold has written about the bizarre structure in her book Necropolis: London and Its Dead.

She's explained that while the concept sounds a bit depressing, it would have sparked 'awe' in people who walked past.

"This massive mausoleum, higher than St Paul's, would contain five million Londoners. It was designed as an investment, with investors invited to apply for the 'Five Per Cent Pyramid Stock'," she revealed (via the Daily Star).

"The catacombs would be rented to parishes or individual families at £50 per vault. More than 40,000 bodies would be buried each year.

"Resembling a beehive, it would be a thing of awe and wonder to all who saw it."

It would have been 90 stories high and would have taken up 18-acres.

The pyramid was going to have granite blocks and was designed to have stairs that would lead to an obelisk and astronomical observatory at the top.

The Metropolitan Sepulchre had a price tag of around £7 million and, obviously, it was never able to be built.

The planning board knocked back the designs and Thomas Wilson's vision wasn't able to come to fruition.

It certainly would have been a sight to see.

Featured Image Credit: Guildhall Library. A.P.S. (UK) / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, UK News

Stewart Perrie
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