The cemetery was laid out in a grid of squares of equal size except where the boundaries of the cemetery rendered the square smaller, each square containing a number of private and or public burial plots. The cemetery had been purchased by the GLC in 1966 with the intention of creating a public 'open space'. The neglect of the cemetery has encouraged great ecological diversity and over 100 species of birds have been recorded as well as Pipistrelle bats, rare butterflies and foxes. In 1990 it was designated a cemetery park.
Tower Hamlets Cemetery was one of the seven commercial cemeteries established by Act of Parliament between 1837 and 1841. John Claudius Loudon described the cemetery in 1843 as 'laid out and planted with ornamental trees and shrubs, and . . with a view to picturesque effect'.
Visitor FacilitiesThe site is open from 8am - dusk, except Christmas Day.
Detailed DescriptionThe farthest east of the seven early commercial cemeteries, Tower Hamlets Cemetery was created to serve the parishes of Stepney and Bromley-by-Bow. Consecrated in 1841, the cemetery had a lodge and two chapels, and was laid out as a grid and planted with ornamental trees and shrubs. By 1889 over 247,000 burials had taken place but the cemetery became neglected and much overgrown, later suffering bomb damage in WWII. In 1990 it was designated a cemetery park.
Candidate for listing: 21 June 1841 Act; volumes of plans c. 1840s at Greater London Record Office; Chris Brooks, Mortal remains; Mrs Basil Holmes, The London Burial Grounds, London 1896; J C Loudon, An Encyclopaedia of Gardening ed. By Jane Loudon, London 1878; Melanie Simo 'Loudon and the Landscape', London 1988; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008); Bancroft Library, Clippings; Andrew Crowe, 'The Parks and Woodlands of London' (Fourth Estate, 1987)
For more information see http://www.londongardensonline.org.uk/gardens-online-record.asp?ID=THM056
- Access & Directions
Access Contact DetailsThe site is open from 8am - dusk, except Christmas Day.
DirectionsTube: Mile End (Central/District/Hammersmith & City). Bus: 25, 205, 277, 323, 339, 425, D6, D7, D8
- Victorian (1837-1901)
- Associated People
London Parks and Gardens Trust