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Royal Hospital Old Burial Ground * Kensington & Chelsea
Summary: * on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens

Cemetery within the grounds of the Royal Hospital that served the pensioners residing there. It accommodated some 10,000 burials between its consecration in 1691 and closure in 1854/5 since pensioners were not normally given a headstone and the ground was re-used. There are some fine monuments including a number from the C18th.
Previous / Other name:
Site location: Royal Hospital Road (Royal Hospital London Gate)
Postcode: SW3 > Google Map
Type of site: Cemetery
Date(s): 1691
Listed structures:
Borough: Kensington & Chelsea
Site ownership: Royal Hospital
Site management: Royal Hospital
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: Access by application to Royal Hospital Constable at London Gate
Special conditions:
Public transport: Tube: Sloane Square (District, Circle)
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/10/2007
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Fuller information:

Royal Hospital Chelsea: Site on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens, for Register Entry see

The Old Burial Ground was consecrated in August 1691 and has accommodated some 10,000 bodies, for the pensioners were not normally given a headstone and the ground was used and re-used. Among those buried here were William Cheselden, pioneer of modern surgery, and Dr Burney, who was Organist at the Royal Hospital from 1783-1814 and author of 'General History of Music', but better known as father of the novelist Fanny Burney. The cemetery closed for burials in 1854/5 and from 1855-1893 a plot in Brompton Cemetery (q.v.) was used, until a portion of Brookwood Cemetery was acquired that is still used for Royal Hospital Pensioners. The Old Burial Ground has table tombs, headstones and slabs, some dating from the C18th and handsomely carved, and it is an important military cemetery.

Sources consulted:

'The Royal Hospital Chelsea' guidebook 2002; Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008). See EH Register
Grid ref: TQ281782
Size in hectares:
On EH National Register : Yes
EH grade: Grade II
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: Royal Hospital
Tree Preservation Order: No
Nature Conservation Area: Yes - Borough Importance II
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: Yes - Thames Policy Area
Other LA designation: Area of Metropolitan Importance

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