Image right - Brompton Cemetery, located near Earl’s Court in S.W. London, England, was established by an Act of Parliament and opened in 1840.
Before the founding of the first garden cemetery at Kensal Green in 1832 London burials took place either in the traditional churchyards or in private burial grounds or chapels. In the 1830's there were over 40 000 deaths annually. This figure had been fuelled by epidemics of cholera and an enormous increase in population. The churchyards were full to overflowing (some of them had been used since the middle ages), and these methods were unsatisfactory.
In 1832 Parliament passed a bill encouraging the establishment of private cemeteries outside London, and later passed a bill to close all inner London churchyards to new deposits.
In the first half of the 19th century the population of London more than doubled from 1 million to 2.3 million. At this time all London's dead were buried in small parish churchyards, which quickly became dangerously overcrowded, leading to decaying matter getting into the water supply and causing epidemics. There were stories of graves being dug that already contained bodies, and bodies being flushed directly into the newly-built sewer system.
Dickens wrote in The Uncommercial Traveller, (London, 1869), p 233:
"Such strange churchyards hide in the City of London; churchyards sometimes so entirely pressed upon by houses, so small, so rank, so silent, so forgotten except by the few people who ever look down into them from their smokey windows. As I stand peeping in through the iron gate and rails, I can peel the rusty metal off, like the bark of an old tree. The illegible tombstones are all lopsided, the gravemounds lost their shape in the rains of a hundred years ago, the Lombardy Poplar or Plane-Tree that was once a drysalter's daughter and several common-councilmen, has withered like those worthies, and its departed leaves are dust beneath it. Contagion of slow ruin overhangs the place..."
There are over 125 cemeteries serving the London area.
George Walker, a surgeon, visited about fifty London graveyards and published his findings in 1839 is a book - Gatherings from Grave Yards: Particularly Those of London: with a Concise History of the Modes of Interment Among Different Nations, from the Earliest Periods. And a Detail of Dangerous and Fatal Results Produced by the Unwise and Revolting Custom of Inhuming the Dead in the Midst of the Living (Google eBook) which make interesting reading.
"In making a grave, a body, partly decomposed, was dug up, and placed on the surface, at the side, slightly covered with earth; a mourner stepped upon it, - the loosened skin peeled off, he slipped forward, and had nearly fallen into the grave." p 202
By 1900 there were approximately 86 cemeteries in the London area; the number had risen to 116 by 1930. Five crematoria were opened in London between the wars and there was a shift in the preference for cremation. By 1967 cremation had overtaken burial. A new crematorium was built in 1971, and in 2005 there were 25 in London. London Cemeteries: An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer Hugh Miller & Brian Parsons.
The "Magnificent Seven..."
... is an informal term applied to seven large cemeteries in London. They were established in the 19th century to alleviate overcrowding in existing parish burial grounds.
- Kensal Green Cemetery, 1832
- West Norwood Cemetery, 1837
- Highgate Cemetery, 1839
- Abney Park Cemetery, 1840
- Nunhead Cemetery, 1840
- Brompton Cemetery1840
- Tower Hamlets Cemetery, 1841
In 1981 the architectural historian Hugh Meller dubbed the group of cemeteries "The Magnificent Seven" after the 1960 western film of the same name.
London Cemeteries (Full List)
The aim is to create separate projects for larger cemeteries, and combine other smaller cemeteries into sub-pages. Those marked ✽ have individual project pages in the pipeline.
Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington High Streert, N16
Acton Cemetery - Park Royal Road, NW10. Founded 1895, Ealing - 16.5 acres.
Burials (Tabs Not Working!! 1/7/2013 CJB) Find a Grave List of 217 interments
- Sir William Champness (1873-1956) City Solicitor and antiquary
- John Leech (1857-1942) Northern Ireland Judge
- Sir Samuel Lewis (1843-1903) Chief Justice od Sierra Leone who took a leading part in the affairs of the colony.
- John Manning (1829-1908) The last constable of Chester Castle and governor of Chester, Wakefield and Pentonville Prisons.
- Albert Perry (?-1915) American drowned with 194 others when the Lucitania was torpedoed by a German submarine.
- George Lee Temple (1892-1914) "The Baby Airman" The first British airman to fly upside down. He was killed at hendon aerodrome.
- Sir George Wright (1848-1927) A.J.P. ( what does this stand for? 1835–1836 and for 38 years a member of Middlesex County Council
The Actor's Church (St. Paul's Churchyard)
Alperton (Wembley) Cemetery, Clifford Road, Wembley, Middx.
Bandon Hill Cemetery, Plough Lane, Wallington, Surrey
Find a Grave list of 51 interments
- Charles Alfred Barnard (?-1935) Editor of the Era
- Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) Afro-English composer who achieved such success that he was once called the "African Mahler"
- Thomas Cook (?-1937) Geologist
- Sir Charles Hose (1863-1929) British colonial administrator, zoologist and ethnologist. Find a Grave entry
- Joseph Peter Kegan (Joe Elvbin) (1862-1935) Music Hall coimedian, founder member of the Grand Order of Water Rats in 1889.
- Andrew Wilson Murray (1845-1930) Secretary to Field Marshall the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn for thirty eight years.
- Eugeen Stratton (1861-1918) Music Hall star, buried next to his friend Joe Elvin (above)
Barkingside Cemetery, Longwood Gardens, Ilford, Essex
Find a Grave list of 332 interments
Barnes Common Cemetery, off Rocks Lane, SW13
Find a Grave list of 58 interments.
- Baron de Sampayo (1794-1860) who served in the Portuguese Embassy in London
- Alexander Finberg (1866-1939) Artist and Art historian, authority on J J W Turner, advisor to the Inland Revenue on picture valuations and founder of the Walpole Society.
- James Heywood (1810-1897) MP for North Lancashire 1847-1857 and a pioneer of the free library movement. He maintained a free library at Notting Hill at his own cost.
- Ann Hildebrant (1790-1851) Wife of Edward Williams, landscape artist.
- Charles Innes (1825-1907) Architect who designed St. Michael's, Barnes and rebuilt much of the Parish Church.
- Augustus Mayhew (1826-1875) Writer of popular novels, sometimes collaborating with his brother Henry
- Francis Turner Palgrave (1824-1897) British critic and poet.. Professor of Poetry at Oxford and compiler of the Golden Treasury
- Henry Piggersgill (1782-1875) Portrait painter who painted many celebrated people of his time.
- Lt. Ge. Sir Alfred Wilde (private Profile) (1819-1878) who took an active part against the Indian Mutiny, leading the party which captured the Begum's palace in Delhi. ADC to the Queen and member of the Council of India.
- Edward Williams (1782-1855) Landscape Artist, known as "Moonlight Williams". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Williams_(painter)
- Henry J Boddington born Williams (1811-1865) son of above. Landscape Artist
- George Augustus Williams (1814-1901) son of Edward above.
Battersea New Cemetery (Morden) & North East Surrey Crematorium, Morden, Surrey
Battersea St Mary's Cemetery, Bolingbroke Grove, SW11
Beckenham Cemetery, London Road, Bromley, Kent
Bexleyheath Cemetery, Banks Lane, Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent
Brockley and Ladywell Cemetery, Brockley Road, SE4
Bromley Hill Cemetery, Bromley Hill, Bromley, Kent
Brompton Cemetery, Old Brompton Road, SW10
Brookwood Cemetery, Cemetery Pales, Brookwood, Woking, Surrey
Bunhill Fields, City Road, EC1 ✽
Camberwell Cemetery, Forest Hill Road, SE22
Camberwell New Cemetery & Honor Oak Crematorium, Brenchley Gardens, SE23
Carpenders Park Cemetery, Oxhey Lane, Watford, Herts.
Chadwell Heath Cemetery, Whalebone Lane North, Mark's Gate, Essex
Charlton Cemetery, Cemetery Lane, SE7
Cherry Lane Cemetery, Shepison Lane, West Drayton, Middx.
Chingford Mount Cemetery, Old Church Road, E4
Chiswick New Cemetery, Staveley Road, W4
Chiswick Old Cemetery, Corney Road, W4
City of London Cemetery and Crematorium, Aldersbrook Road, E12 ✽
Croydon Cemetery and Crematorium, Mitcham Road, Croydon, Surrey
Crystal Palace District Cemetery & Beckenham Crematorium, Elmers End Road, SE20
Ealing and Old Brentford (South Ealing) Cemetery, South Ealing Road, W5
Eastbrookend Cemetery, The Chase, Off Dagenham Road, Dagenham, Essex
Eastcote Lane Cemetery, Eastcote Lane, South Harrow, Middx.
East London Cemetery and Crematorium, Grange Road E13
East Sheen Cemetery, Sheen Road, Richmond, Surrey
Edmonton Cemetery, Church Street, N9
Edmonton and Southgate Cemetery, Waterfall Road, N11
Eltham Cemetery and Crematorium, Rochester Way, SE9
Enfield Cemetery and Crematorium, Great Cambridge Road, Enfield, Middx.
Forest Park Cemetery and Crematorium, Forest Road, Hainault, Essex
Fulham Cemetery, Fulham Palace Road, SW6
Golders Green Crematorium, Hoop Lane, NW11 ✽
The Great Northern Cemetery (New Southgate Crematorium), Brunswick Park Rd, N11
Greenford Park Cemetery, Windmill Lane, Greenford, Middx.
Greenlawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Chelsham Road, Warlingham, Surrey
Greenwich Cemetery, Well Hall Road, SE9
Grove Park Cemetery, Marvels Lane, SE12
Gunnersbury Cemetery, Gunnersbury Avenue, W4 ✽
Hammersmith Cemetery, Margravine Road, W6
Hammersmith New Cemetery and Mortlake Crematorium, Clifford Avenue, SW14
Hampstead Cemetery, Fortune Green Road, NW6 ✽
Harrow Cemetery, Pinner Road, Harrow, Middx.
Hatton Cemetery, Faggs Road, Feltham, Middx.
Hendon Cemetery and Crematorium, Holder's Hill Road, NW4
Hertford Road Cemetery, Hertford Road, Enfield, Middx.
Highgate Cemetery, Swains Lane, N6
Hillingdon and Uxbridge Cemetery, Hillingd on Hill. Hillingdon
Hillview Cemetery, Wickham Street, Welling, Kent
Hither Green Cemetery and Lewisham Crematorium, Verdant Lane. E6
Huguenot Burial Ground, East Hill, SW18
Isleworth Cemetery, Park Road, Isleworth. Middlesex.
- Jewish Cemetery, Alderney Road, E1
- Jewish Cemetery, Brady Street, E1
- Jewish Cemetery, East Ham, Sandford Road. E6
- Jewish Cemetery, Fulham Road, SW3
- Jewish Cemetery, Hoop Lane, NW11
- Jewish Cemetery, Kingsbury Road. N1
- Jewish Cemetery, Lauriston Road, E9
- Jewish New Sephardi, Mile End Road. E1
- Jewish Old Sephardi, Mile End Road. E1
- Jewish Cemetery, Montagu Road. N18
- Jewish Cemetery, Plashet Park, High Street. E6
- Jewish Cemetery, Pound Lane, NW1O
- Jewish Cemetery, Rowan Road, SW16
- Jewish Cemetery, West Ham, Buckingham Road. E15
- Jewish Cemetery, Willesden, Glebe Road. NW10
Kensal Green Cemetery & West London Crematorium, Harrow Road, W10
Kensington Hanwell Cemetery. Uxbridge Road. W7
Kingston Cemetery and Crematorium. Bonner Hill Road, Kingston
Lambeth Cemetery and Crematorium. Blackshaw Road, SW17
Lavender Hill and Strayfield Road Cemeteries.Cedar Road, Enfield
Manor Park Cemetery and Crematorium.
Merton and Sutton Joint Cemetery, Garth Road, Morden, Surrey
Mitcham Cemetery, Church Road, Mitcham
Mitcham Cemetery, London Road, Mitcham
Mortlake Old Cemetery, South Worple Way, SW14
Mortlake Roman Catholic Cemetery, North Worple Way, SW14
New Brentford Cemetery, Sutton Lane, Hounslow, Middx.
North Sheen Cemetery, Lower Richmond Road, SW14
Nunhead Cemetery, Linden Grove, SE15
Paddington Cemetery, Mill Hill, Milespit Hill. NW7
Paddington Cemetery, Willesden Lane, NW2
Paines Lane Cemetery, Paines Lane, Pinner, Middx.
Pinner Cemetery, Pinner Road, Pinner, Middx.
Plaistow Cemetery, Burnt Ash Lane, Bromley, Kent
Plumste ad Cemetery, Wickham Lane, SE2
Putney Lower Common Cemetery, Mill Hill Road, SW13
Putney Vale Cemetery and Crematorium, Kingston Road, SW15 ✽
Queen 's Road Cemetery, Queen's Road, Croydon, Surrey
Richmond Cemetery, Grove Road, Richmond, Surrey
Rippleside Cemetery, Ripple Road, Barking, Essex
Roding Lane North Cemetery, Roding Lane North, South Woodford, Essex
Royal Hospital Chelsea Burial Ground, Royal Hospital Road, SW3
Royal Hospital Greenwich Cemetery, Chevening Road, SE10
St Marylebone Cemetery and Crematorium, East End Road, N3 ✽
St Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Kensal Green, Harrow Road, NW1O
St Pancras and Islington Cemetery and Crematorium, High Road, N2
St Patrick 's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Langthorne Road, E11
Streatham Cemetery, GarrattLane, SW17
Streatham Park Cemetery & South London Crematorium, Rowan Road, SW16
St. Thomas's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Rylston Road, SW6
Surbiton Cemetery, Lower Marsh Lane, Surbiton, Surrey
Sutton Cemetery, Alcorn Close, Sutton, Surrey
Teddington Cemetery, Shacklegate Lane, Teddington, Middx.
Tottenham Cemetery, Prospect Place, N17
Tottenham Park Cemetery, Montagu Road, Nl8
Tower Hamlets Cemetery, Southern Grove, E3
Trent Park Cemetery, Cock.foster Road, Cockfosters
Twickenham Cemetery, Hospital Bridge Road, Twickenham
Walthamstow Cemetery, Queen's Road, E17
Wandsworth Cemetery, Magdalen Road, SW18
West Ham Cemetery, Cemetery Road, E7
Westminster Cemetery, Uxbridge Road, W7
West Norwood Cemetery and Crematorium, Norwood High Street, SE24
Willesden Cemetery, Franklyn Road, NW1O
Wimbledon Cemetery, Gap Road, SW19
Woodgrange Park Cemetery, Romford Road, E7
Wood Green Cemetery, Wolves Lane, N22
Woolwich Cemeteries, King's Highway and Camdale Road, SE18
References and Sources
- London Cemeteries: An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer Hugh Miller & Brian Parsons.