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Grove Park Cemetery * Lewisham

Summary

* on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens

Originally called Deptford New Cemetery, Grove Park Cemetery opened in 1935 and has been praised as a rare example of an early C20th cemetery landscaped in the tradition of the great C19th cemeteries. Among those buried is Helmuth Barth, a horse trainer with Sangers Circus who died during a show at Romford in 1946.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
Deptford New Cemetery

Site location:
Marvels Lane, Lee

Postcode:
SE12 9PU ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Cemetery

Date(s):
1935

Designer(s):
H Morley Lawson

Listed structures:
None

Borough:
Lewisham

Site ownership:
LB Lewisham

Site management:
Crematorium & Cemeteries Service

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
10am - 3.30pm (November-February)/ - 4.30pm (March-October). Christmas Day 10am-2pm

Special conditions:

Facilities:
Toilets, car park

Events:

Public transport:
Rail: Grove Park then bus. Bus: 284

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2012
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/birthsdeathsmarriages/deaths

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ416715

Size in hectares:
c.7

Green Flag:
Yes

On EH National Register :
Yes

EH grade:
Grade II

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
No

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
No

Local Authority Data

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:
No

In Conservation Area:
No

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:
Green Chain (Green Chain Walk)

Fuller information

Site on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens, for Register Entry see https://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

By the early C20th Deptford Cemetery, now known as Brockley Cemetery (q.v.) was almost full as the parish was becoming increasingly built up. In 1934 Deptford Borough Council purchased undeveloped land for its new cemetery in the south of the borough, where new estates like the Grove Park Estate were being built. Deptford New Cemetery was opened on 1 June 1935 by the Mayor of Deptford; its layout, designed by Borough Surveyor H Morley Lawson, described as 'the last flickerings of a great tradition' (Brooks) and 'a brave attempt to create the 1930s version of a well planned cemetery that Loudon had envisaged' (Meller). His design juxtaposed formal and informal elements and the cemetery buildings showed the influence of Moderne and Art Deco style. Still largely in place today, they included a brick and tile lodge, timber framed chapel, office, toilets and a central drinking fountain inscribed with the names of Deptford Borough Council's Cemetery Committee of 1934-5 at the time it was built. At the entrance are wrought-iron gates on tall brick piers, flanked by pedestrian gates, from where a main drive processes to the chapel. The first person to be buried here was Charles Terry on 17 September 1935.

The hillside to the west was landscaped with paved terraces incorporating seats and scenic viewpoints looking south, and an ornamental pool in white concrete. An axial walk was along the ridge with beds and laurel and thorn shrubberies, and to the east and south-east Marvels Wood and Elmstead Wood still provide a sylvan setting. Planting within the cemetery is not exceptional, and includes willows, limes, cypresses, and hawthorn, with floral beds near the entrance where there are mature trees of a wide selection of species, native and exotic.

Sources consulted:

John Archer, Ian Yarham, 'Nature Conservation in Lewisham', Ecology Handbook 30, London Ecology Unit, 2000; Brooks 60; Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008); Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (Penguin) 1999 p417.

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