Old Barnes Cemetery (also known as Barnes Common Cemetery)7254

London, Greater London, England

Brief Description

Richmond Council has declared the site a nature reserve but although some clearing up was carried out it remains neglected, and it is effectively part of Barnes Common. No boundaries appear to exist and the atmospheric cemetery is encountered through the woodland of the common, its graves and tombstones hidden away among the vegetation, although some paths have been recreated.

History

Following the closure of the cemetery to burials, it was taken over from the church in 1966 by Richmond Borough Council who intended to turn it into a lawn cemetery. The chapel and lodge were demolished, and the boundary railings removed, but some of the fine trees survive. However the cemetery was badly vandalised over the ensuing years and many of the headstones were broken.

Visitor Facilities

There is unrestricted open access.

Detailed Description

In 1854 a plot of land in the north-east corner of Barnes Common was enclosed to provide an additional burial ground for St Mary's Barnes, whose churchyard had become overcrowded. The cemetery was laid out with paths, a chapel was built and it was in use until the mid-1950s, with many artists and writers among those buried. After it closed to burials, it was taken over in 1966 by Richmond Borough Council who intended to turn it into a lawn cemetery. The chapel and lodge were demolished, and the boundary railings removed. It was badly vandalised over the ensuing years and many of the headstones broken. The Council has now declared it a nature reserve and it is effectively part of Barnes Common.

Sources consulted:

Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008); John Archer, David Curson, 'Nature Conservation in Richmond upon Thames, Ecology Handbook 21', (London Ecology Unit) 1993 p60; Barnes Common 32 and Mill Hill 14 Conservation Area Study, LB Richmond, 2007

For more information see http://www.londongardensonline.org.uk/gardens-online-record.asp?ID=RIC051

Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

There is unrestricted open access.

Directions

Rail: Barnes
History

Period

  • Mid 19th Century
References

Contributors

  • London Parks and Gardens Trust