|St Mary's Churchyard, Acton||Ealing|
Acton was part of the Manor of Fulham at the time of the Domesday Survey and a church had stood at the old centre of the village from at least 1228. An important stop on the London to Oxford coaching road, Acton developed into a market town and was later popular as a rural retreat. A larger parish church was erected in 1837 to serve the growing population, reconstructed in 1865-67. St Mary's Churchyard served as the main parish burial ground until 1863 when Churchfield Road Burial Ground was opened as a relief ground. It was used for burials under family rights until the 1920s, and contains some interesting monuments. In front of the church what was once the village green is now a pedestrian precinct.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/11/2010
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The name Acton originates from a 'settlement among the oaks', and the acorn motif is still used, for example appearing on the clock tower of the 1930s Town Hall. Acton was part of the Manor of Fulham at the time of the Domesday Survey and a church had existed here from 1228 or earlier on the present site, the old centre of the village. As it was an important stop on the London to Oxford coaching road, Acton developed into a market town and by the C19th it had become popular as a rural retreat due to its proximity to London. By the late 1850s the population had increased and its largely agricultural nature was also changing following the enclosure of common land and road construction. Brick-making became an important local industry and the large number of laundries in South Acton led to its nickname as 'Soapsuds Island'; by the 1930s Acton was an industrial centre. A larger church was erected in 1837 as the congregation grew. This building was then itself reconstructed in 1865-67 by Frederick and Horace Francis, to form the present church of red brick with stone dressings; the west tower was then replaced in 1875/6. At the west end of the church are some wall monuments from the old church.
In front of the church what was once the village green is now a bland pedestrian precinct of 1992, with municipal planting, paving and seats. The old churchyard is something of an incongruity adjacent to brash modernity, but contains some interesting monuments. It was used for burials under family rights until the 1920s, although Churchfield Road Burial Ground (q.v.) had been opened as a relief ground in 1863, and Acton Cemetery (q.v.) was later opened in 1895.
Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed), p155/6; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); LB Ealing Conservation Area Appraisal (April 1999); Middlesex County Times, 31/8/1929