Sunday, July 19, 2009
10:00am - 4:00pm
City of London Cemetery & Crematorium
Aldersbrook Road, E12 5DQ
The City of London Cemetery and Crematorium is one of London's most beautiful, but least known, open spaces.
By the mid 19th century churchyards within the City were becoming overcrowded, unsanitary and unfit to be used for further burials. Under the terms of the Metropolitan Burials Act of 1852, the Commissioners of Sewers were appointed the Burial Board for parishes in the City and its liberties. On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, the Board ruled that interments should cease within the City. To answer the problem of burials for the City of London, the Corporation purchased 90 acres of farm land at Little Ilford in 1854. The farm, once owned by famous Essex antiquarian Smart Lethieullier, was demolished and a large fishpond drained (this now forms the site of the Catacomb Valley). The cemetery was designed by Colonel William Haywood as Engineer and Surveyor to the Commissioners of Sewers of the City of London and landscaped by Robert Davidson.
The first burial at the City of London Cemetery took place in June 1856. However, the ground was not consecrated until November 1857. A crematorium was opened in October 1904 and the first cremation took place in March 1905. It was the second crematorium in London and was designed by D J Ross, Engineer to Commissioners of Sewers and later City Engineer, 1894 - 1905. A new crematorium was built in 1971. In 1937 a garden of rest was constructed followed by a series of memorial gardens. There were also plans to build a railway siding and special station linked to Eastern Counties Railway but these came to nothing. The cemetery contains reinterments from demolished City churches.
Famous people buried here include, Elizabeth Ann Everest, nanny of Winston Churchill; World Cup hero Bobby Moore; Robert Hooke, philosopher and inventor and Ripper victims, Mary Ann Nichols and Catherine Eddowes, alongside the friends and relatives of thousands of Londoners.
The following will run though out the day:
* Live music
On the Large Lawn
Guided bus / walking tours
* Crematorium tours
Staff will give small groups guided tours of the building answering all your questions
* Records office
Staff will be on hand to show you around the office and records room which dates back to 1856
* Wildlife tours
Guided nature tours suitable for all ages and abilities
* Nature Reserve tours
Guided tours of the birches nature reserve located within the cemetery
In addition to the tours and walks available, you may also like to explore the buildings which will be open to the public all day. Staff will be on hand to answer your questions.