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Mitcham Road Cemetery and Croydon Crematorium Croydon

Summary

Mitcham Road Cemetery, originally called Croydon Cemetery, was opened in 1897 as an overspill to Queen's Road Cemetery. Buildings included the lodge and chapel. The cemetery has been enlarged twice, in 1935 and in 1937 when Croydon Crematorium was added, later extended in 1962. The cemetery is simply laid out with a grid of paths, avenue of limes and some specimen trees, but around the Crematorium are more formal gardens, a pond, winding paths and drives. Noteworthy monuments include the Lanfranc Memorial to 34 boys and 2 masters from Lanfranc School killed in an air crash in 1961.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
Croydon Cemetery

Site location:
Mitcham Road/Thornton Road, Croydon

Postcode:
CR0 3BE ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Cemetery

Date(s):
1897; 1935; 1937

Designer(s):

Listed structures:
Local List: Burial Chapel and Lodge

Borough:
Croydon

Site ownership:
LB Croydon

Site management:
Croydon Cemeteries and Crematorium Office

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
April - September: 9am - 7.30pm; October - March: 9am - 5pm

Special conditions:
No Dogs

Facilities:

Events:

Public transport:
Rail: East Croydon. Rail/London Overground: West Croydon then bus. Tramlink: Therapia Lane. Bus: 64, 109, 198, 250, 264, 289

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/12/2008
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.croydon.gov.uk

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ304673

Size in hectares:
17.415

Green Flag:
No

On EH National Register :
No

EH grade:
None

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
No

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
No

Local Authority Data

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.

On Local List:
Yes

In Conservation Area:
No

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Local importance

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
Yes

Special Policy Area:
Yes - Archaeological Priority Zone (excluding Crematorium))

Other LA designation:
Part of AP2

Fuller information

Opened by the Burial Board in 1897, Croydon Cemetery was made as an overspill to Queen's Road Cemetery (q.v.) in response to the growing need for more burial spaces. The cemetery has been enlarged twice, in 1935 and 1937, the later enlargement when Croydon Crematorium was built. An axial drive from Mitcham Road entrance runs through the simply planned cemetery comprising a grid of paths dotted with a few specimen trees including Deodar Cedar, Acacia, Corsican Pine, Lebanon Cedar. Shrubs include Laurel, Holly and Yew. A double avenue of Lime runs down the north-west (1935) extension. Buildings include the tile-hung lodge, brick Gothic chapel and crematorium, and the cemetery has brick walls with railings and stone dressings. The north east part of the cemetery around the crematorium has a more elaborate layout with formal gardens, pond, winding paths and drives.

Croydon Crematorium was built in 1937, later extended in 1962 when the east chapel was added. Hugh Meller comments: 'both buildings rise above the customary low standard of crematorium architecture, especially the earlier version in an austere simple Gothic design. Individual taste is allowed to flourish in the cloisters where pink and green onyx memorial tablets have sprouted like a nasty rash'.

Noteworthy memorials include the Lanfranc Memorial, a large paved area with raised flower bed and black granite cross to 34 boys and 2 masters from Lanfranc School killed in an air crash in 1961. Captain Leslie Thomas's memorial has a stone model of a 1937 monoplane. Derek Bentley, executed in 1953 for his part in the murder of a policeman, was buried here in 1966; he was subsequently cleared in 1998 and by special permission his headstone is inscribed with the words 'a victim of British Justice'. Others buried here include composer William Hurlstone (1876-1906); Sir Charles Flynn (1884-1938), Deputy Chairman of Customs and Excise 1936-38; Tom Norman, 'the Silver King' who managed the Elephant Man; and Frederick George Creed, the inventor of the teleprinter. There is an original air raid shelter on the site.

Sources consulted:

Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008), pp141/2; LB Croydon, 'Local List of Historic Parks & Gardens', December 2008

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