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Brief description of site

Town Hall Gardens are 19th-century public gardens in the town centre. The site was previously used as the cemetery for St Mary's church. Elements of the early C20 design, which was conventional, probably survive in the tree planting, as do a number of early C19 trees which contribute to the aesthetic of the Gardens by reflecting, with the headstones, their earlier use as a burial ground.

Brief history of site

The site, formerly the Rope Works, was developed as a burial ground and opened in May 1828 when the existing churchyard at St Mary’s in Dock Road became overcrowded. Burials continued until 1870 when a new cemetery opened in Maidstone Road. Following the erection of the Town Hall (adjacent to Rope Walk in central Chatham) in 1900, the closed burial ground was considered for use as open space. The minute book for the Highway and Works Committee records on 14 January 1905 the name was changed from the Old Burial Ground to Town Hall Gardens; they were formally opened on 14 June 1905.

Location information:

Address: Whiffens Avenue, Chatham, ME7 5SQ

Locality: Rochester

Local Authorities:

Medway

Historical County: Kent

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 178 Grid Ref: TQ760681
Latitude: 51.3847 Longitude: 0.527897

Visitor facilities

Opening contact details:

This is a municipal site for general public use.

Key information:

Form of site: public park

Purpose of site: urban park

Context or principal building: parks, gardens and urban spaces

Site first created: 1828 to 1905

Main period of development: Late 19th century

Survival: Extant

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