The General Cemetery of All Souls, Kensal Green, is one of England's oldest and most beautiful public burial grounds
The plan for London's first garden cemetery was initiated by the barrister George Frederick Carden, who was inspired by a visit to Père-Lachaise in Paris in 1821. Alert both to the need for new burial grounds, and the commercial potential of the venture, Carden founded the General Cemetery Company in 1830, with influential supporters including Andrew Spottiswoode MP and the banker John Dean Paul of Rodburgh
The cemetery was established by Act of Parliament which had its final reading in July 1832, during a cholera epidemic -- a coincidence that implicitly made the case for reform.
The Bishop of London consecrated the first 48 acres in January 1833, and the first funeral was conducted a week later.
From the funeral of HRH The Duke of Sussex in 1843 to that of his nephew HRH The Duke of Cambridge in 1904, Kensal Green was the most fashionable cemetery in England
Its notable personalities include some 650 members of the titled nobility and over 550 individuals noted in the Dictionary of National Biography.
Kensal Green is the resting place of the engineers Sir Marc Isambard Brunel and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the mathematician Charles Babbage, and the novelists Wilkie Collins, Anthony Trollope and William Makepeace Thackeray; Lord Byron's wife, Oscar Wilde's mother, Charles Dickens' in-laws and Winston Churchill's daughter; a cross-dressing Army doctor and the surgeon who attended Nelson at Trafalgar; the creator of Pears' Soap, and the original WH Smith; the funambulist Blondin and the Savoyard George Grossmith; the first man to cross Australia from south to north, and the last man to fight a duel in England; the Duke's nephew who ruined the richest heiress of the day, and the English adventuress who became a French baronne disgraced by the accusation of murder.
Kensal Green boasts some 140 Grade I, II* and II Listed buildings and monuments, including the magnificent Anglican Chapel (Top 2 pano's)
The Cemetery is cared for by "The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery" which is an independent registered charity