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Pair of Chapels at Isleworth Cemetery

Case study: Isleworth Cemetery, Hounslow, Greater London TW7 6GS (London)

List entry number: 1272433

Isleworth Cemetery Chapels buildings at risk
The grade II listed chapels sit at the heart of Isleworth Cemetery. No longer in use, they are in a deteriorating condition. An imaginative approach is now needed to secure their repair and future use. © London Borough of Hounslow

Background and history

The grade II listed cemetery chapels sit at the heart of Isleworth Cemetery. Opened in 1879, the cemetery is relatively modest both in its scale and architecture. The most notable monument is to the Pears family, the well-known soap manufacturers whose factory was located close by.

The jewel in the crown is the pair of cemetery chapels. Designed in a decorative Gothic style, the chapels are surrounded by mature trees. The tapering central spire is also a distinctive feature in views across the cemetery.

The Anglican chapel was last used for a service in the 1970s. Since then its condition has deteriorated and the building now looks unloved. The stained glass windows are boarded up and fences around the building prevent access.

Is it at risk?

The chapels were added to the London Heritage at Risk Register in 2015. This followed a project carried out by volunteers with funding from Historic England.

The project aimed to assess the condition of all grade II listed buildings in the London Borough of Hounslow. The volunteers used a website, mobile 'app' and guidance currently being developed by Historic England. For more information about the project please visit our website.

What's the current situation?

Isleworth Cemetery is no longer used for burials. As a result the chapels have lost their original purpose. The challenge now is to think about their future use. An imaginative solution is needed to ensure they play a role at the heart of the cemetery.

Historic England will now work closely with the Local Authority to better understand the condition of the chapels. Possible sources of funding for their repair will also be explored.

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