Writers' cemetery protected

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The Independent Culture

The final resting place of some of the greatest names in English literature has been given Grade I status. Daniel Defoe, who wrote Robinson Crusoe, and John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim's Progress, are among those buried at Bunhill Fields Cemetery in central London.

The poet William Blake is also buried within its walls, although the exact location of his grave is unknown.

The cemetery, off City Road, was established as a nonconformist burial ground in the 1660s and became a public garden in 1869. It was given a Grade I entry on the national Register of Parks and Gardens by English Heritage.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has also listed 75 of its tombs separately.

Previously, the entire area was treated as Grade II-listed structure. David Garrard of English Heritage said: "Bunhill Fields has long fascinated historians and romantics and is considered the terra sancta of English Nonconformity. Few places document religious history as vividly."