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East Greenwich Pleasaunce Greenwich
   
Summary: East Greenwich Pleasaunce is the former walled burial ground of the old Royal Hospital at Greenwich. The land, a former orchard, was purchased when the Hospital's two burial grounds were becoming full and the new cemetery opened in 1857. In 1875 the bodies of 3000 pensioners were brought here from the old infirmary burial ground when a railway tunnel was cut through the site. In 1926 the burial ground was sold to Greenwich MBC. Railings around the tombstones were removed and part of the ground was landscaped as a park although the gravestones remain in the central area.
Previous / Other name: Royal Hospital Greenwich Cemetery
Site location: Chevening Road, East Greenwich
Postcode: SE10 > Google Map
Type of site: Public Gardens
Date(s): 1857; 1926
Designer(s):
Listed structures: LBII: 18 Woolwich Road and wall to east of this, gates/gate piers to north of this? Check this is connected
Borough: Greenwich
Site ownership: RB Greenwich
Site management: Parks and Open Spaces Department/Friends of East Greenwich Pleasaunce
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: 9am - dusk
Special conditions:
Facilities: Playground; One o'Clock Club
Events:
Public transport: Rail: Westcombe Park. Bus: 108, 177, 180, 286, 422.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/12/2006
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

Fuller information:

This small park is the former walled burial ground of the Royal Naval pensioners from the old Royal Hospital at Greenwich (q.v.), which was founded in 1694. When its two cemeteries were full in the 1840s, one of which was near the Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital and the other near Maze Hill, the Royal Hospital began to look for a site for a new burial ground. It eventually purchased an orchard here and the new cemetery opened in 1857. In 1875 the bodies of 3000 pensioners were brought here from the old infirmary burial ground when a railway tunnel was cut through the site; a plaque on the wall commemorates this and the land is marked with posts in the lawn. Further reburials took place here when the Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital was built.

In 1926 the burial ground was sold to Greenwich Metropolitan Borough Council, the Admiralty reserving rights of further burials. The adoption of the name East Greenwich Pleasaunce dates from this time. Railings around the tombstones were removed and part of the ground was landscaped as a park. The gravestones remain in the central area, some hedged with laurel or privet, the west plot having lower orders and the east plot reserved for officers according to naval etiquette. Among those buried are Lieutenant James Berry (d.1930), Curator of the Royal Naval Museum for 17 years; James Shepherd (d.1907) for 18 years Queen Victoria's boatswain's mate on the Royal Yacht 'Victoria and Albert'; Anthony Sampayo, French Ambassador to England; there are also the graves of those who served in the Crimean War and in the Battle of Trafalgar.

The park has a number of fine trees, including holm oak, silver birch, ash, walnut, poplar, weeping birch and an espaliered lime walk around the C19th boundary walls. A tablet on the wall of Chevening Road approaching from Woolwich Road reads 'Greenwich Hospital 1857' and on Woolwich Road is the former gatehouse to the burial ground. A new playground was installed in 2001and in 2003 a new entrance with a short footpath link to Halstow Road was created. East Greenwich Pleasaunce has won a Green Flag Award in 2008-09 and 2010-11.

Sources consulted:

Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008)
Grid ref: TQ399781
Size in hectares: 2.4
   
On EH National Register : No
EH grade:
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
No
 
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:
In Conservation Area: No
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: No
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation: Community Open Space.
   

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