There is a WWI War Memorial near the entrance and a memorial to members of the public who were killed by a Zeppelin was erected in around 1920. Only the gothic Gate Lodge survives of the original buildings. The cemetery was described as being 'eminently picturesque' when it opened but it had degenerated into a disorderly and uncared for cemetery by the end of the century. Woodland has developed in the north-west area where sycamore dominates although there are other native trees such as ash, oak, hornbeam, hawthorn, white willow, yew, sallow, horse chestnut and poplar among a dense undergrowth, the graves barely visible.
The churchyard of the parish church of St Giles was one of the many churchyards that had become short of space and in 1855 the newly established Camberwell Burial Board purchased 30 acres of meadowland for its Burial Ground of St Giles, Camberwell. The cemetery was laid out for £17,200. It originally had three chapels, the Church of England and the Nonconformist chapels designed by George Gilbert Scott, who had earlier designed Camberwell parish church of St Giles, and the third a Roman Catholic chapel.
Visitor Facilities1 April-30 Sept: Mon-Fri 8.30am - 5pm; Sat 8.30am-7pm. Sun/BH 10am-7pm. 1 Oct-31 Mar: closes at 5pm. Xmas day 10am-2pm.
Detailed DescriptionCamberwell Cemetery was opened in 1856 by Camberwell Burial Board, at that time the area was surrounded by fields. The cemetery originally had 3 chapels, none of which remains although the gothic entrance lodge still stands. Its layout was planned on picturesque principles with winding paths. It was enlarged in 1874 but there was a great shortage of burial space and by the late C19th it was in a deplorable and neglected state. It was renamed Camberwell Old Cemetery when the Camberwell New Cemetery was opened in 1927 and the majority of burials now take place there.
John Archer, Bob Britton, Robert Burley, Tony Hare, Ian Yarham, 'Nature Conservation in Southwark' Ecology Handbook 12, London Ecology Unit, 1989; Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008); John Beasley, 'Southwark Remembered', Tempus Publishing, 2001; Ron Woollacott, 'Southwark's Burying Places, Past and Present', Magdala Terrace Nunhead Local History publication, 2001; Southwark Listed Buildings data
For more information see http://www.londongardensonline.org.uk/gardens-online-record.asp?ID=SOU015
- Access & Directions
Access Contact Details1 April-30 Sept: Mon-Fri 8.30am - 5pm; Sat 8.30am-7pm. Sun/BH 10am-7pm. 1 Oct-31 Mar: closes at 5pm. Xmas day 10am-2pm.
DirectionsLondon Overground: Honor Oak Park. Bus: 63, 122, 171, 172, 484, P2, P3, P4, P12.
- Mid 19th Century
London Parks and Gardens Trust