West Ham Cemetery 7308

London, England, Greater London

Brief Description

Throughout the cemetery there are a number of mature trees, mostly common lime but also pedunculate and holm oaks, ash, false acacia, sycamore and various species of conifers. The fairly low brick wall which forms the boundary with the adjacent West Ham Jewish Cemetery allows views between the two, and both cemeteries are surrounded by suburban housing.

History

West Ham Burial Board was set up following the passing of the Burial Acts in the 1850s and in 1857 purchased 4.85 hectares of land for its new cemetery.

Visitor Facilities

Daily 9am (summer)/10am (winter) to dusk

Detailed Description

West Ham Burial Board was set up following the passing of the Burial Acts in the 1850s and in 1857 purchased 4.85 hectares of land for its new cemetery from Samuel Gurney, a Quaker whose family was related to the prison reformer Elizabeth Fry. West Ham Cemetery was extended to its current size in 1871. The emphasis was on creating good drainage and keeping costs low so the cemetery's layout is a simple grid plan. It retains its small ragstone chapel designed by T E Knightly but its non-conformist chapel has since been demolished. A small mock-Tudor lodge is situated just inside the metal entrance gates. There are no prominent monuments, and gravestones are set among grass. Among the memorials are those who died in two disasters, the sinking of the Princess Alice pleasure boat in 1878, and the Silvertown Explosion of 1917.

Sources consulted:

Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008); John Archer/Ian Yarham, Nature Conservation in Newham, London Ecology Unit, 1991.

For more information see http://www.londongardensonline.org.uk/gardens-online-record.asp?ID=NEW034

Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

Daily 9am (summer)/10am (winter) to dusk

Directions

Rail: Maryland; Forest Gate. London Overground: Wanstead Park. Bus: 308
History

Period

  • Victorian (1837-1901)
References

Contributors

  • London Parks and Gardens Trust