One of Cambridge’s best kept secrets was being discussed on BBC4’s Today program this morning. Apparently, the Asenscion Burial Ground (now on my scientific places map) houses the mortal remains of no less than the following brain names:
- Sir John Cockcroft, who split the atom in 1932 at the Cavendish Physics Lab
- Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, the first person to identify the existence of vitamins, back in 1912.
- Ludwig Wittgenstein, perhaps the greatest philosopher of the 20th century.
- Charlotte Scott, pioneering female mathematics student.
- Sir Arthur Eddington, the astrophysicist who made the crucial observations of a solar eclipse that confirmed Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
- Alfred Marshall, founder of modern economics.
- Johann Gottfried Galle, astronomer who predicted the existence of Neptune.
- Sir James Frazer, who practically invented modern anthropology.
- Arthur Christopher Benson, who wrote the words to Land of Hope and Glory (apt for Last Night of the Proms day).
Also buried here are seven members of the Order of Merit, over sixty entries from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, engineers, biologists, classicists, historians, poets (it’s the ultimate dead poets society), and philosophers. Also buried here are two sons and a granddaughter of Charles Darwin…