|Cemetery of Our Lady of the Angels Capuchin Franciscan Friary||Bexley|
Formerly part of Lime Wood, the use of this small level site as a cemetery pre-dates the building of the Friary here. Established in Erith by 1867, the Capuchin Franciscan Friars acquired the land at Northumberland Heath and the Friary was built in 1902/3, with its Hall added by 1928 and Our Lady of the Angels Church in 1963. The cemetery is still in use. Enclosed within iron railings it is laid to grass that is occasionally mown and contains small to medium sized monuments. There are trees around the edges except for the east, which fronts onto Bexley Road.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2012
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.our-lady-of-angels.org.uk
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
The Catholic Order of Capuchins was established in 1556 and the presence of Capuchin Friars at Erith is recorded from 1867 when a Friar Maurice was working in the area. Initially holding services in a private room, he later acquired land in West Street for a church and school dedicated to St Fidelis, which continued to be used until 1989, but then demolished. The friars at first lived in a corrugated iron hut until their first friary was built onto the end of the church. Land was later purchased on Northumberland Heath, at which time the Guardian of the Friary was Fr Bernardine, under whose auspices the current Friary dedicated to Our Lady of the Angels was begun in 1902, opening in 1903. In 1925-28 a Hall was built to the south between the Friary and its small cemetery in the south-east corner, and was partly used for church services. From 1947 a wing of the Friary became a chapel until the new church of Our Lady of the Angels was built and opened in 1963. Next door is St Fidelis Catholic Primary School, which opened in 1960, and the Angelus Centre nearby serves the parish.
The OS Map of 1895 shows the site as wooded, marked as Lime Wood. By 1896/7 the OS Map shows the square site of a small cemetery adjacent to Bexley Road in the south-east corner of a rectangular area that is delineated within the woodland. Presumably this is the plot of land purchased by the friars for their new Friary. The OS of 1909 shows the Franciscan Monastery existing in the north of the rectangular plot, fronting onto Carlton Road with paths laid out in the grounds as far as the cemetery in the south-east. The 1933/47 OS Map shows the Hall fronting onto Bexley Road, and by 1958/59 a cleared area is shown within a larger square site, surrounded by woodland, with paths running through it and extending to the rear back gardens of houses on Oakdene Avenue. The primary school now takes up the southern part of the site, adjacent to the cemetery, which remains in use for burial by the Franciscan Friary.
History of Capuchin Franciscan Friars on www.capuchinfriars.co.uk