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Thread: London's public cemeteries

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    Default London's public cemeteries


    Given the recent interest in burial grounds on here i thought i would put up a bit of reserach on London's largest and sometimes grandest cemetries - given their size and age the majority have negelcted and derelict features.
    This list covers the seven major cemeteries, plus three later examples set up around London to relieve and replace congested central London churchyards which by then were fit to burst. Plots could be reserved/purchased privately via a company who owned the cemetery (a few of which still survive in business although most are now authority owned). Typical facilities were available for Anglicans and non-conformists, as well as other religions. Most have numerous notable internments.

    Kensal Green Cemetery originally General Cemetery of All Souls
    The first of the large public cemeteries and located here in north west London. Still owned and managed by the General Cemetery Company.
    Opened: Jan. 1833 and still open for burials
    Size: 72 acres
    Layout: Henry Edward Kendall Sr. (also architect of Warley Hospital), with John Griffith (Chapels etc.)
    Links: Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery
    Derelict London

    West Norwood Cemetery originally and officially South Metropolitan Cemetery
    Opened: 1837 and closed to burials during the 1970
    Formerly owned by the South Mertopolitan Cemetery Company and located here in south London. Following closure, it became property of various local authorities who fudged plans to make it into a 'memorial park' by stripping thousands of gravestones over a number of attempts. Now undergoing conservation efforts. has disused catacombs.
    Size: 72 acres
    Layout: William Tite, architect
    Links: Friends of West Norwood Cemetery
    Derelict London

    Highgate Cemetery
    Built and owned by the London Cemetery Company and later occupying two sites. The west site, now disused is probably the most famous of all the London cemeteries and located here in north London.
    Opened: 1839 (west site, now closed and disused), 1854 (east site, still open for internments)
    Size: 37 acres (west site - 17 acres, east site 20 acres)
    Layout: Stephen Geary and David Ramsay
    Links: Friends of Highgate cemetery

    Nunhead Cemetery
    The London cemetery Company's southern site, located here in south east London. Now local authority owned.
    Opened: 1840 and closed in 1969 and largely disused, although occassional burials took place until 1998.
    Size: 52 acres
    Layout: James Bunstone Bunning (later became architect to the City of London and designed Stone House Hospital, Dartford).
    Links: Friends of Nunhead Cemetery
    Derelict London

    Brompton Cemetery originally the West of London and Westminster Cemetery
    Opened: 1840 to the west of London here
    Formerly owned by the West London and Westminster Cemetery Company. It is still open for burials and is now maintained by the Royal Parks, combined with its affluent location making it an unlikely prospect to be at all derelict.
    Size: 40 acres
    Layout: Benjamin Baud
    Links: Royal Parks dept.



    Tower Hamlets originally the City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery
    Located here near Bow, East London and operated originally by the City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery Company (not to be confused with the Corporation of London's municipal cemeteries at Wanstead).
    Opened: 1841 and closed in 1966 although heavily neglected and overgrown since before WWII. Now virtually urban woodland and run as nature reserve.
    Size: 27 acres
    Links: Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery
    Derelict London

    Abney Park Cemetery
    Located in Stoke Newington, north east London and initially developed sensetively within an existing estate. Unlike the other six sites, Abney was developed principally for non-conformist burials. The change from the Abney Park Cemetery Joint Stock Co. to a commercial comapny led to later less sensitive internments.
    Opened: May 1840, closed 1975 and later neglected before conservation efforts.
    Size: 32 acres
    Layout: Initially overlaid existing estate.
    Links: Abney Park Cemetery Trust
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    County Asylums England's Asylums and Mental Hospitals

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: London's public cemeteries


    The later Cemeteries:

    Brookwood Cemetery otherwise known as Brookwood Necropolis
    Owned by the London Necropolis and National Mausoleum Company (until the 1980's) on a colossal site near Woking, in Surrey. At the time, the largest in the world and still the largest in Britain. Formerly linked by rail with stations within the cemetery as well as it's own station at Waterloo which still exists.
    Opened: November 1854 and still open for internments.
    Size: 353 acres
    Layout: Henry Abraham, architect and Robert Donald, landscaper. Some sources suggest William Tite.
    Links: Internal Derelict places link
    Brookwood Cemetery Society
    Brookwood Cemetery Company

    New Southgate Cemetery originally the Great Northern Cemetery
    Operated by the Great Northern (London) Cemetery company and located here in North London close to the Great Northern railway Line. As at Brookwood, the cemetery was connected with central London by rail with Stations at the cemetery and Kings Cross, although the service was short-lived. The cemetery formerly consisted of east and west sections either side of Brunswick Park Road, the former containing the railway facilities and the latter, larger site on a large circular format with double avenues heading south.
    Opened: 1861 and still in use. The east site was little used and very derelict until 1968 when it was redeveloped for residential and industrial purposes involving the re-internment of 289 bodies. Much of the south of the west site has also been built over, although internments atill take place elsewhere on the site.
    Size: 180 acres (west site 80 acres, east site 50 acres)
    Links: New Southgate cemetery including aerial picture

    Woodgrange Park Cemetery
    Located near Forest Gate, to the east of London. A much later public cemetery.
    Opened: 1889 and still open for some internments although large parts are derelict and part has been redeveloped for housing. Some of the displaced gravestones found their way to the Emmerdale Yorkshire TV location rather than be skipped. Chapel in a bad way.
    Size: 20 acres
    Links: Derelict London
    The Cemetery Column
    County Asylums England's Asylums and Mental Hospitals

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    Default Re: London's public cemeteries


    Funny, I was just going to post something about Brookwood (London Necropolis)

    As recently I found something that I believe was the "Railway for the Dead" Station which I think is now used as offices right by Waterloo.

    Funny what you can find while staggering around London. Very ornate for when you consider what it was used for.

    Paperclips & tape can get you out of most situations.

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    Default Re: London's public cemeteries


    Quote Originally Posted by Macguyver View Post
    Funny, I was just going to post something about Brookwood (London Necropolis)

    As recently I found something that I believe was the "Railway for the Dead" Station which I think is now used as offices right by Waterloo.

    Funny what you can find while staggering around London. Very ornate for when you consider what it was used for.

    Yep, thats the second Waterloo Necropolis station (121 Westminster Bridge Road) and incorporated the company offices. The station closed prematurely when the platform area was destroyed by bombing on 14th June 1942
    from The Forgotten Stations of Greater London:
    Original station opened: 13th November 1854
    Relocated to facilitate LSWR Waterloo station alterations: 11th February 1902
    Officially closed: 11th May 1941
    Apparently it still said 'London Necropolis Company' on the building until recent years.

    Pete
    County Asylums England's Asylums and Mental Hospitals

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