Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Greater London Authority
Islington (London Borough)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ 32769 82263

Reasons for Designation

Yes, list


635-1/0/10219 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND 21-FEB-11 Monument to Thomas Hardy, East enclosure

GV II Grave marker, mid-C19, designed by John Woody Papworth

LOCATION: 532769, 182263

MATERIALS: Portland stone on brick base

DESCRIPTION: The monument takes the form of a square stone pillar approximately two metres tall, with a stepped plinth and a barrel-shaped top bearing a relief carving of a laurel wreath and a scroll. (The latter once bore the inscription 'Public Duty and Private Worth', but this is now illegible.) On the main body of the monument are two long texts celebrating Hardy's virtues and achievements.

HISTORY: Thomas Hardy (1752-1832) was a noted political radical and the founder of the London Corresponding Society (LCS), a campaigning group supporting universal manhood suffrage and parliamentary reform. Born near Falkirk in Scotland, he came to London in 1774 to work as a shoemaker. His interest in politics was aroused by the American War of Independence, and his radical sympathies awakened by the writings of Richard Price and Major John Cartwright. The LCS, which he founded with a group of friends in 1792, soon attracted the attention of the authorities, and in May 1794 Hardy was arrested and charged with high treason. He was acquitted, but a mob attack on his house before the trial may have led to the death of his wife and their unborn child. After this event he kept a lower political profile, but maintained his links with other leading radicals (including Tom Paine in America) and was involved in the long campaign that eventually led to the Great Reform Act, passed a few months before his death in 1832.

John Woody Papworth (1820-70) was an architect and antiquary. Born into an important family of architects and designers, he trained in his father's office and at the Royal Academy Schools, becoming in 1841 an Associate and in 1846 a Fellow of the Institute of British Architects. He built little, but produced numerous decorative designs and published widely on a range of architectural topics, mainly in conjunction with his brother, the pioneering art historian Wyatt van Sandau Papworth.

Bunhill Fields was first enclosed as a burial ground in 1665. Thanks to its location just outside the City boundary, and its independence from any Established place of worship, it became London's principal Nonconformist cemetery, the burial place of John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, William Blake and other leading religious and intellectual figures. It was closed for burials in 1853, laid out as a public park in 1867, and re-landscaped following war damage by Bridgewater and Shepheard in 1964-5.

SOURCES: A W Light, Bunhill Fields (London, 1915). Clive Emsley, entry on Hardy in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (retrieved on 9 June 2009). Arthur Cates, rev. John Elliott, entry on Papworth in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (retrieved on 9 June 2009). Corporation of London, A History of the Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (1902).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to Thomas Hardy is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * It is a well-preserved early-C19 monument of an unusual form, the work of an important designer. * It marks the burial place of a leading political radical of the late-Georgian period, whose campaigning work contributed to the passage of the 1832 Reform Act. * It is located within the Grade I registered Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (q.v.), and has group value with the other listed tombs in the east enclosure.


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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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