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Moravian Burial Ground Kensington & Chelsea
Summary: Burial ground for the Moravian church established here by Count Zinzendorf, Bishop of the Moravians. In 1750 Zinzendorf had purchased Lindsey House and the grounds of Beaufort House, both once part of Sir Thomas More's Chelsea estate. The burial ground, on the stable yard of Beaufort House and having remnants of Tudor brick walls, was exempted from closure after the Burial Act of 1855 and around 400 people have been interred since 1751.
Previous / Other name:
Site location: 381 Milman's Street, off King's Road
Postcode: SW10 > Google Map
Type of site: Cemetery
Date(s): 1751
Listed structures: LBII: Chapel and Minister's House; burial ground walls on north-east and south-west sides
Borough: Kensington & Chelsea
Site ownership: Fetter Lane Moravian Church
Site management: Fetter Lane Moravian Church
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: Exhibition Centre open Wed afternoons or by appointment
Special conditions:
Public transport: Tube: Fulham Broadway (District), Sloane Square (District, Circle) then bus. Bus: 11, 19, 22, 211
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/09/2008
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Fuller information:

The Moravian church was founded in 1373, dissenting Protestants who were expelled form Moravia and Bohemia in the C16th and finally found refuge with Count Zinzendorf in Upper Lusitania, which became their centre. Count Zinzendorf visited England for the first time in 1737 soon after which he was ordained Bishop of the Moravians; in 1742 the Archbishop of Canterbury granted the Moravian church a license. In 1750 Count Zinzendorf purchased Lindsey House and the grounds of Beaufort House, employing Sigismuad Gersdorf as architect for a Chapel and Minister's House, completed in 1753. The Chapel replaced stable buildings and the burial ground is on the site of the stable yard of Beaufort House, once the residence of Sir Thomas More. Lindsey House was originally the main farmhouse on Sir Thomas More's estate and, albeit much changed, remains as a rare survivor of the C16th. The Burial Ground is enclosed on the east and south by Tudor brick walls.

Count Zinzendorf had intended to use Lindsey House as the headquarters of the Moravian community but this did was not achieved, although from 1754 an English Provincial Synod met here and the sect's work continued until the Count's death in 1760; Lindsey House was sold in 1770 and subsequently reconfigured into Lindsey Row. The burial ground continued to be used and was exempted from closure under the Burial Act of 1855. Around 400 people have been interred since 1751, including James Gillray, father of the caricaturist. In the mid-1890s, Mrs Basil Holmes writes: 'The part actually used for interments is fenced in and closed. It is neatly kept, the tombstones being very small flat ones. . . (it) was closed by order of the Council about 8 years ago.'

The burial ground is laid out in four squares, each reserved for a particular group: married women; married men; single women; single men. The headstones are all the same size, since all are equal in death, and are laid flat in the grass. The square plot is surrounded by hedging with 4 fig trees in the centre; at the south is a columned pergola with shields behind within a wooded area. There are plane trees around the perimeter wall of the cemetery and in front of the range of buildings is paved with circular patterns.

Sources consulted:

Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); RBKC Cheyne Conservation Area Proposals Statement; Mrs Basil Holmes, The London Burial Grounds, London, 1896
Grid ref: TQ267776
Size in hectares: 0.4135
On EH National Register : No
EH grade:
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
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: Yes
Conservation Area name: Cheyne
Tree Preservation Order: No
Nature Conservation Area: Yes - Borough Importance II
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation:

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