- Heritage Category:
- Park and Garden
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Greater London Authority
- Barnet (London Borough)
- Greater London Authority
- Camden (London Borough)
- National Grid Reference:
- TQ 24869 85577
A Burial Board cemetery laid out by Joseph Meston in 1874-6, and extended in 1901.
In the early-1870s the local authority realised that space for burials would clearly run out at St John's churchyard in Hampstead, and Hampstead Burial Board was established in 1873 to find land for a new cemetery. In February 1874 the Burial Board purchased a 20 acre (c 8ha) plot of land at Fortune Green for £7000. The grounds were surveyed by Joseph Bazalgette and laid out and planted for £2500 by the landscape architect Joseph Fyfe Meston (c 1827-91). Meston had been an assistant to Robert Marnock and had collaborated with Alexander McKenzie on the Victoria Embankment Gardens (qv). The lodge, chapels, gate piers, and railings were designed by the architect Charles Bell, with the chapels costing £4843. The cemetery was formally consecrated by the Bishop of London and was opened for use in November 1876, with consecrated ground to the south of the main drive and unconsecrated ground to the north. The Burial Board ceased to exist in 1895 and the local authority took over the management of the cemetery. The cemetery was extended in 1901, when a further 5 acres (c 2ha) were added adjacent to the north-east quarter. Hampstead Cemetery remains (2002) in use as a public cemetery and there are now over 60,000 people buried there.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Hampstead Cemetery, c 15ha, is located c 1km to the west of Hampstead, in the London Borough of Camden. It is bounded to the east by Fortune Green Road (B510), to the south-east by the rear of buildings fronting onto Fortune Green Road, to the south by the gardens of houses on Agamemnon Road and Gondar Gardens, to the west by the gardens of houses on Menelik Road, to the north by playing fields, and to the north-east by the gardens of houses on Ranulf Road. The boundaries are marked by late-C19 red-brick walls, and by C20 retaining walls and fences. The cemetery is laid out on virtually flat ground, with a slight rise from west to east, and a rise at the south-west end of the cemetery towards the south boundary. There are vistas along the main drive and paths and some open views within the cemetery.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The C19 entrance leads directly into the cemetery from Fortune Green Road. This entrance is marked by late-C19 stone piers supporting mid-C20 iron gates (replacing those removed with the entrance railings during the Second World War). The late-C19 gothic lodge (Charles Bell 1876) stands on the south side of the drive, immediately south-west of the entrance. Opposite the entrance, on the far side of Fortune Green Road, is the house and workshop built in 1886 for the monumental mason John Cramb (outside the area here registered). It is built in an altered Egyptian style with lotus-leaf decorations and is a feature of views back along the main drive.
A public footpath, which preceded the cemetery, crosses diagonally across the centre of the cemetery, from which it is fenced off. There are pedestrian entrances from the footpath into the north-eastern and south-western parts of the cemetery from the points where the footpath crosses with the main drive, and crosses a drive which runs parallel, c 60m to the north-west.
PRINCIPAL BUILDINGS A pair of linked chapels (Charles Bell 1876, listed grade II) stand c 270m south-west of the lodge. The twin chapels (formerly a Nonconformist chapel on the north side and an Anglican chapel on the south side) are in a Decorated Gothic style. The chapels are entered from three-bay arcaded porticoes, which are linked to a porte-cochère. The chapels and porte-cochère are built in Kentish rag rubble, with Bath stone dressings and slate roofs.
OTHER LAND The C19 part of the cemetery is approximately rectangular with a formal layout of largely straight C19 drives and paths. To the north-east is the early-C20 extension which is triangular in shape and has two arching paths. The cemetery is planted with a wide variety of mixed trees and flowering shrubs, giving it an attractive landscape character. The C19 trees include mature ash, oak, sycamore, and a large sweet chestnut. From the lodge, a straight drive runs south-west for c 270m to the chapels. The drive between the lodge and the chapels is crossed c 200m south-west of the entrance by the public footpath, which runs north-west to south-east across the cemetery, dividing it into two parts. The path is fenced on both sides, with gated entrances on the main drive.
From the chapels, the main drive continues for c 180m, curving slightly to the north, and terminating at a rondpoint, with a large blue Atlas cedar on a grass circle formed by the turning circle of the drive. To the north and south C19 drives lead off the circle and these then turn to run east, approximately parallel with the main drive. A late-C19 path (shown on the 2nd edition OS map of 1894, but removed in the C20) formerly continued west from the rondpoint and then looped around the north-west corner of the cemetery.
The southern parallel drive now (2002) terminates just to the east of the point where the drive crosses the path leading south from the chapels. Until the late-C20 this drive continued along the full length of the cemetery but was grassed over due to pressure to find more burial space. The northern parallel drive continues east for c 400m, from where it joins a path leading south, back to the main drive. The northern and southern drives are linked to the main drive by four C19 paths which run approximately north/south across the cemetery. The paths cross the main drive at the western rondpoint, on line with the chapels and c 100m to the east of the them, and c 40m west of the main entrance. A further C19 path connects the main drive to the southern drive, c 150m east of the chapels.
An arching early-C20 path leads off the north/south path c 100m east of the chapels and winds through the early-C20 cemetery extension, joining back onto the northern and main drives c 40m west of the entrance. A further early-C20 path crosses from west to east through the cemetery extension, c 40m to the north of the northern drive, and continues up to the eastern boundary of the cemetery.
The tombs and monuments include a good collection from the 1870s to 1930s, of which eighteen are listed. The largest and most distinguished tombs are located along the main drive, around the chapel, and along the main path through the early C20 extension. The more distinguished tombs include those of Jacob Arnhold (c 1903, listed grade II), the Bianchi family (c 1938, listed grade II), Sir Banister Fletcher (c 1899, listed grade II), Arthur Frankau (c 1905, listed grade II), Marthe Goscombe John (1923, listed grade II*), and Mordant Gwynne (c 1910, listed grade II). Kate Greenaway (1901), Lord Lister (1912), the originator of antiseptic surgery, and Grand Duke Michael of Russia (1929) are also buried here. In the north-west section of the cemetery is the Civilian War Memorial surrounded by the graves of those killed in the First and Second World Wars.
Weinreb B and Hibbert C (eds), The London Encyclopaedia (1983), 134 Brooks C, Mortal Remains (1989), 62, 73-4, 76, 147-8 Meller H, London Cemeteries (3rd edn 1994), 144-51 Colloms M and Weindling D, The Good Grave Guide to Hampstead Cemetery, Fortune Green, guide leaflet, (2000)
Maps OS 25" to 1 mile: 2nd edition surveyed 1894, published 1896
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION Hampstead Cemetery is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * An exceptional example of a High Victorian (1874-76) public cemetery for the Metropolis. * Its artistically notable and impressive buildings and landscape design were by designers of note including the landscape architect Joseph Fyfe Meston and buildings, including lodge, chapels, gate piers, and railings, designed by the architect Charles Bell. * The cemetery layout and structures survive largely intact in good condition. * Its local and national social interest is expressed in a rich variety of C19 monuments including many London worthies.
Description written: May 2002; amended November 2003 Register Inspector: CB Edited: December 2009
This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 16 August 2017.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
- Parks and Gardens
War Memorials Online, accessed 11 July 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/191897
War Memorials Register, accessed 16 August 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/60509
This garden or other land is registered under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953 within the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens by Historic England for its special historic interest.
End of official listing