In Spain, there are some English cemeteries that, more or less, share in common its antiquity: the ones in Santander and San Sebastian, for example, have in common with that of Málaga their appearance in the wild and agitated first half of the nineteenth century.
But the one in Malaga which is the one we now care about seems to date back to 1830. Around that time there was quite a few British in the area, they had come attracted by the commercial impulse and the business possibilities that mines and wine offered. Although there was the religious issue: these people weren’t Catholics, but they were mortal. And when they died, they could not be buried in the cemeteries of the parish because of the conflict of beliefs. So, in the absence of sacred ground, burials had to be carried out on the beach and at night, by the light of the torches.
To fix the situation, and thanks to the efforts of the Consul William Mark, it was agreed to give a piece of municipal land to use as a Protestant cemetery. An area facing the sea and which soon would have, as they say, its first tomb: that of Robert Boyd, a young Irish officer who accompanied General Torrijos in his attempt to restore freedom and constitutional order, and who ended, like all the other participants in the insurrection, executed on San Andrés beach, without a trial or anything.
The cemetery of Málaga received the brave Robert in 1831, and a few years later, the San Sebastian and Santander ones began to do the same with the members of the British Auxiliary Legion, who had arrived in Spain in 1835 to support the liberal cause.
It is not strange that this cemetery has, like the one in San Sebastian, an intense melancholic aura. It doesn’t matter if the tombs and mausoleums are Neo-Gothic, modernist or Neoclassical; you can perceive the past in the air, and on top of all it has some beautiful views that put the icing on a truly nostalgic scene.
The place went through a complicated period during a good part of the twentieth century, when the lack of resources made it difficult to maintain it, this left it in a bad state which, fortunately, has already been restored. Leave on the side for a while your fears and prejudices, if you have them, and take a walk through its gardens and between its tombs, listen to us… it is a very special place which deserves a little time of your visit to Málaga.