Monthly mys­tery The other side

Could some­one have buried a spec­tac­u­lar time ma­chine?

Chat It's Fate - - Contents -

Time travel has al­ways been a top sci-fi sub­ject. From Marty Mcfly’s trip away from the 80s in Back to the Fu­ture to Dr Who’s TARDIS ad­ven­tures, the idea that the present isn’t all we have is cer­tainly an imag­i­na­tion grab­ber. The big ques­tion is: could it hap­pen in real life?

The an­swer may lie be­hind the bronze doors of a mau­soleum in Bromp­ton Ceme­tery, West Lon­don.

The tomb is the fi­nal rest­ing place of so­cialite Han­nah Cour­toy, who died in 1849 at the age of 65. Han­nah had ac­cu­mu­lated much wealth and her last ad­dress was in salu­bri­ous Bel­gravia.

No won­der she wanted to be buried some­where lux­u­ri­ous.

Fol­low­ing their own deaths, two of Han­nah’s three daugh­ters, El­iz­a­beth and Mary Ann, also joined their mum in the tomb.


For years now, ru­mours abound that the tomb – for which the key has been lost – isn’t what it seems, and that its doors hide a time ma­chine.

Han­nah’s some­what un­likely con­nec­tion with time travel comes from her close friend­ship with Joseph Bonomi, an Egyp­tol­o­gist.

It’s ru­moured that Bonomi de­signed her rest­ing place, as it has a pyra­mid­shaped peak, and both it and Bonomi’s grave­stone – sit­u­ated just a few me­tres away from Han­nah’s – are in­scribed with hi­ero­glyphs.

Back in Han­nah’s day, some peo­ple be­lieved that the an­cient Pharaohs had learnt how to travel through time.

Could Bonomi have dis­cov­ered its se­crets dur­ing one of his trips to Egypt? If so, he may have turned to a Lon­don in­ven­tor called Samuel Al­fred Warner to help de­sign his time ma­chine. Warner, who is also buried in Bromp­ton Ceme­tery,

in­vented an in­vis­i­ble shell – or, as he put it, ‘A bomb that can be tele­ported a short dis­tance’.

A net­work

Those who be­lieve this trio were in­volved in time travel reckon that Han­nah’s fi­nal rest­ing place is part of a net­work of tele­por­ta­tion cham­bers. Per­haps one day a new key will be made for Han­nah’s mau­soleum, and we’ll fi­nally find out whether sci­ence fic­tion has be­come sci­ence fact.

had he dis­cov­ered its se­crets dur­ing a trip to egypt?

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