Charlton Cemetery was founded in 1855 by Charlton Burial Board on land that was originally part of the estate of Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson. Its Victorian layout of serpentine paths is little changed and it retains the pair of C19th chapels although the original lodge has gone. Among the memorials are numerous monuments to the army and navy and personnel connected with the Royal Artillery at Woolwich and other notable people including Sir Geoffrey Callender, the first Director of the National Maritime Museum, and Sir John Maryon-Wilson, Lord of the Manor of Hampstead who was instrumental in the preservation of Hampstead Heath.
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The cemetery was founded in 1855 as an exclusive 8-acre "Gentleman's Cemetery" by Charlton Burial Board on land which was originally part of the estate of Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson. It was later expanded by a further 7 acres in the C20th. The layout has serpentine paths, and is much the same today as the Victorian layout shown in a drawing in the 'Illustrated London News' in 1857. It has a pair of C19th chapels; the Church of England chapel is Early English style and has a stained glass west window showing the Entombment, which was presented in 1865 by the local vicar; the Roman Catholic Chapel is in Decorated style. The cemetery has original stone-capped walls topped with railings and a tile-hung lodge although the original lodge was demolished. Planting is a little sparse and apart from some holm oaks, it lacks large trees but good recent planting includes monkey puzzle and larch.
Among the memorials are numerous monuments to the army and navy and personnel connected with the Royal Artillery at Woolwich, including Admiral Sir Watkin Pell (d.1869) who served with Lord Nelson; Admiral George Perceval, 6th Earl of Egmont (d.1874) a midshipman at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and who had once owned Charlton House; and Sir William Dalyell (d.1865) who fought in the Napoleonic wars. Others notable people buried are Governors of Malta, Bermuda, Gibraltar, and the commander in Chief of India; Sir Geoffrey Callender (d.1945), the first Director of the National Maritime Museum, and Sir John Maryon-Wilson (1802-1876), Lord of the Manor of Hampstead who was instrumental in the preservation of Hampstead Heath (q.v.), and whose family owned the land that is now Maryon and Maryon Wilson Parks (q.v.). An urn on a large plinth commemorated the death of 52 men and boys who died of yellow fever on board the HMS Firebrand in July 1861. Near the entrance is the memorial to Jemima Ayley (d.1860) whose effigy lies under a domed canopy below which is a 22ft vault containing a table and chair used by mourning relatives. The memorial of Thomas Murphy (d.1932), the owner of Charlton greyhound track, has a pair of greyhounds at the foot of Corinthian columns; other exceptional memorials include that to Major-General Orde Wingate RA (Chindits) and the 'Two Brides'.
A granite drinking fountain with circular bowl was re-located in the cemetery in 1979, but was originally at the junction of Charlton Way and Duke Humphrey Road, presented by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association in 1901.
Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008);