Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Cemetery (also known as Kensington Hanwell Cemetery)2865

Hanwell, England, Greater London

Brief Description

The cemetery covers about 9 hectares, and features mature specimen trees and a sunken garden. Other features include two entrances, a war memorial, a gate lodge and an Anglican chapel, but the Nonconformist chapel was demolished around 1972.

History

The cemetery at Hanwell was designed by Thomas Allom and was opened in 1855.

Visitor Facilities

The cemetery is open daily from 9am. Closing times vary seasonally.

Terrain

Level

Detailed Description

The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

One of the first public cemeteries to be opened after the Metropolitan Interment Act of 1850, designed by Thomas Allom in 1855.

DESCRIPTION

LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING

The cemetery, which occupies c 9ha of level ground, is located in a residential area in the northern part of Hanwell, 14km west of the centre of London. The site is bounded to the north by the London to Reading railway line while housing adjoins the remaining boundaries. To the east and south-east are the rear gardens of C19 terraced houses on Eccleston Road and Shirley Gardens, and to the south and west there is mixed housing, mainly consisting of late C20 apartment blocks. Approximately half of the late C19 brick wall with brick pillars which originally surrounded the cemetery grounds has been replaced by prefabricated concrete fencing. The c 120m long entrance walk north from Uxbridge Road (Broadway), which enters between C19 terraced houses, is bounded by wrought-iron fences.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES

The cemetery is approached from Uxbridge Road through a Gothic-style arch (C19) with wrought-iron gates and railings standing c 200m south of the mortuary chapel. This opens onto a narrow straight entrance walk accompanied on both sides by bands of lawns with rectangular beds and screened by high evergreen hedges of yew, laurel, holly, and other flowering shrubs. A C19 gatekeeper's lodge lies adjacent to the gothic arch on the west side of the entrance walk. The walk enters the main cemetery towards the south-west corner. The second entrance, a two-winged wooden panel gate flanked by brick gate piers, is situated approximately midway along the western brick wall.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING

In the centre of the cemetery, c 100m north of the main entrance, stands the Victorian Gothic-style Anglican mortuary chapel and the arcade which formerly linked it to the Nonconformist chapel which stood to the east. The Nonconformist chapel and parts of the surviving building were demolished c 1972, but the Anglican chapel has since been restored.

OTHER LAND

The central focus of the cemetery is the mortuary chapel, in similar style to the entrance lodge on Uxbridge Road. The original area of the cemetery, surrounding the mortuary chapel, is traversed by winding paths in a picturesque layout. The later extensions to west and east have a simpler path layout consisting of perimeter walks along the boundaries of the new plots with small circular lawns in the middle. The lawns are planted with a mixture of mature trees dominated by holly, yew, and specimen conifers. Mature deciduous trees line the boundary walls.

The entrance walk from Uxbridge Road is continued to the north by a straight gravel path which turns north-west on the chapel's west front. On reaching the former mid C19 west boundary the path turns eastwards and follows the former perimeter until it rejoins the entrance walk on the south boundary. The northern lawn between the chapel and the perimeter is scattered with a few old gravestones shadowed by mature trees and clumps of shrubs. An old sweet chestnut underplanted with holly stands in the north-east part of the lawn.

The tombs and monuments are concentrated in the southern half of the old part of the cemetery, which is dotted with flowering cherries. In the other parts the gravestones stand two or three rows deep alongside the paths. The circular path in the eastern extension is bounded by mature pines and cedars and surrounded by late C19 tombs. In the western lawns the tombs and urn burials date from c 1920 onwards. A First World War memorial consisting of a tall white stone cross, and a small rectangular burial ground with war graves lies c 60m north-west of the mortuary chapel, adjacent to the old western boundary of the cemetery.

The tombs are rarely extravagant, notable exceptions being the monument for Mr Wheeler, a Notting Hill builder, and the 1914 tomb of the conchologist Edgar Smith, decorated with a large conch shell.

REFERENCES

Hounsell P, Ealing and Hanwell Past (1991)

Meller H, London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer (3rd edn 1994), 206-8

Maps

OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1868; 2nd edition published 1895; 3rd edition published 1920

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION

Kensington and Chelsea Cemetery is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* A fine informal, Picturesque, early High Victorian (1855) public cemetery for the Metropolis.

* The cemetery was laid out by the surveyor to the Ladbroke estate in Kensington, Thomas Allom who also designed the Gothic-style structures.

* One of the first public cemeteries to be opened after the Metropolitan Interment Act of 1850.

* This, together with the City of Westminster Cemetery (qv), is one of two contemporary cemeteries laid out adjacent to serve significant areas of the Metropolitan population, in contrasting styles.

* The layout and structures survive, but with the loss of one of the two chapels and part of a screen linking them.

* The varied woody planting is of high quality and survives well.

* Metropolitan social interest is expressed in an extensive collection of monuments which are rarely extravagant, notable exceptions being the monument for Mr Wheeler, a Notting Hill builder, and the 1914 tomb of the conchologist Edgar Smith, decorated with a large conch shell.

Description written: February 2000

Amended: September 2001

Edited: December 2009

Features
  • Chapel (featured building)
  • Description: The Victorian Gothic-style Anglican mortuary chapel and the arcade.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Boundary Wall
  • Description: Approximately half of the late-19th-century brick wall with brick pillars which originally surrounded the cemetery grounds has been replaced by prefabricated concrete fencing.
  • Walk
  • Description: The 120 metre long entrance walk is bounded by wrought-iron fences.
  • Entrance
  • Description: The cemetery is approached from Uxbridge Road through a Gothic-style arch (19th-century) with wrought-iron gates and railings.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Gate Lodge
  • Description: A 19th-century gatekeeper's lodge lies adjacent to the gothic arch on the west side of the entrance walk.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Entrance
  • Description: The second entrance, a two-winged wooden panel gate flanked by brick gate piers.
  • Chapel
  • Description: The Nonconformist chapel was demolished around 1972.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Path
  • Description: The original area of the cemetery is traversed by winding paths in a picturesque layout.
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: The lawns are planted with a mixture of mature trees dominated by holly, yew, and specimen conifers. Mature deciduous trees line the boundary walls.
  • War Memorial
  • Description: A First World War memorial consisting of a tall white stone cross, and a small rectangular burial ground with war graves.
Sculpture, Lawn
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

The cemetery is open daily from 9am. Closing times vary seasonally.
History

Detailed History

The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT

The cemetery was opened by the parish of St Mary Abbotts, Kensington, in 1855, one year after the opening of the nearby Westminster Cemetery (qv) by the Burial Board of St George's, Hanover Square. The cemetery was designed on a c 6.5ha plot by Thomas Allom, surveyor to the Ladbroke estate in Kensington. Allom, who had come second in the competition for the Brompton Cemetery commission held in 1838, also designed a funerary chapel at Highclere Castle, Hants (qv) and the gothic mausoleum for George Dodd at West Norwood Cemetery, Lambeth (qv). The cemetery was enlarged to the west by the incorporation of 1.4 ha of former orchard land in the 1870s. A smaller rectangular plot of c 1.2ha was added to the east side at a slightly later date (OS 1895). The cemetery is now (2000) owned and managed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Period

  • Mid 19th Century
Associated People

Just one person associated to Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Cemetery

Contact

Telephone

01793 445050

Official Website

Click Here

Other websites

Owners

  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

    The Town Hall, Hornton Street, W8 7NX
References

References