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Hither Green Cemetery and Hither Green Crematorium (also known as Lee Cemetery, Lewisham Crematorium)

Introduction

The cemetery has massively decorated iron entrance gates, good railings, meandering paths and drives, and is well-planted with ornamental evergreens, holly, yew, deodar, holm oak and other specimen conifers. Most of the mature trees and shrubs are in the area around the pair of Gothic ragstone chapels, both of which survive, but the gothic entrance lodge was demolished in the 1960s.

The site juxtaposes the Victorian Hither Green Cemetery and the 1950s Hither Green Crematorium, which according to Hugh Meller illustrates 'the richness of the C19th cemetery and the vacuity of its C20th counterpart'. Hither Green Cemetery opened in 1873 on former farmland and retains the ornamental entrance gates and pair of gothic chapels although the entrance lodge was later demolished. The well-planted cemetery has meandering paths and some fine monuments. It was later extended but the new area is a mere grid of paths and gravestones, with few trees. Adjacent and accessible from the cemetery, separated by hedging and a row of Lombardy poplars is Hither Green Crematorium, which opened in 1956.

Sources consulted:

John Archer, Ian Yarham, 'Nature Conservation in Lewisham', Ecology Handbook 30, London Ecology Unit, 2000 and Lewisham Walk 2 leaflet; Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (Penguin) 1999; Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008); South East London's Green Chain pack, 1998; Darrell Spurgeon, 'Discover Sydenham and Catford', (Greenwich Guide-books, 1999)

For more information see http://www.londongardensonline.org.uk/gardens-online-record.asp?ID=LEW025

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

Cemetery: 10am - 6pm (March-Oct), - 5pm (Nov-Feb). Crematorium: Mon-Fri 9am - 5pm (March-Oct), - 4.30pm (Nov-Feb); Sat/Sun 10am-4.30 or 3.30pm

Directions

Rail: Grove Park then bus, Hither Green. Bus: 124, 284

Owners

LB Lewisham

Key Information

Type

Cemetery

Purpose

Cemetery

Principal Building

Funerary Site

Survival

Extant

Hectares

26

Open to the public

Yes

References

Contributors

  • London Parks and Gardens Trust