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Wanstead Quaker Burial Ground Redbridge
   
Summary: Wanstead Quaker Burial Ground was established on land leased from Epping Forest by the Barking Quakers in 1871, and the first burial took place in 1881. It was once the site of Becontree Archery, a C19th archery ground with lodge where Charles Dickens is reputed to have given readings. The Lodge was demolished in 1967 and the current Quaker Meeting House was built in 1968. The Burial Ground behind the Meeting House is enclosed by C19th brick walls, and has a central green with perimeter trees and shrubbery. A copse has been planted and a snowdrop garden commemorates children. Uniform headstones are arranged in 2 or 3 neat rows each side and among them is that of Elizabeth Fry, transferred here from Barking Quaker Gardens in c.1985 when it was converted to a public garden.
Previous / Other name: Becontree Archery; Quaker Meeting House
Site location: Bush Road, Wanstead
Postcode: E11 3AU > Google Map
Type of site: Cemetery
Date(s): 1871
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
Borough: Redbridge
Site ownership: Religious Society of Friends, Wanstead Meeting House
Site management: Religious Society of Friends
Open to public? By appointment only
Opening times: Please contact the Wardens (Meeting House: 020 8989 4511)
Special conditions:
Facilities: Toilets
Events: Has opened for London Open House
Public transport: Tube: Wanstead/Leytonstone (Central), then bus: Bus: 66, 101, 145, 257, 308, W13, W14.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/11/2010
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. http://wansteadquakers.gn.apc.org

Fuller information:

The Quaker Burial Ground was established on land leased from Epping Forest in 1871, and the first burial took place in 1881. It was formerly the site of Becontree Archery, a C19th archery ground with lodge where Charles Dickens is reputed to have given readings. Becontree Archery Lodge was demolished in 1967 and replaced with the new Wanstead Quaker Meeting House, completed 1968 and designed by architect Norman Frith. The Meeting House is fronted by a largely tarmaced area for car parking, with shrubbery and some fine trees including cedar. The Burial Ground is behind the Meeting House, accessed via a gate to the right. Mid C19th red brick walls enclose the ground on its east, south and west sides. Wanstead Friends' Burial Ground opens into a meadow-like central green with plain, uniform headstones arranged in 2 or 3 neat rows each side. Among the many simple headstones is that of Elizabeth Fry whose headstone was transferred from the Quaker Burial Ground in Barking (q.v.) in c.1985 when it was converted to a public garden. Fine horse chestnut, ash and oak trees, with an understorey of holly and rhododendron, surround the central green. At the back of the site beyond the open grass the land is wooded with oaks and other trees and shrubs. The grounds are maintained to enhance plant and invertebrate habitats. Developments in the garden by 2010 include a copse, which is in the early stages of development, a snowdrop garden that commemorates children and a sensory garden is planned. In September the garden has a rare display of purple scabious grown naturally.

Sources consulted:

Souvenir Programme of Events; Arthur Mee 'The King's England: London North of the Thames except the City and Westminster', (Hodder & Stoughton, 1972)
Grid ref: TQ400875
Size in hectares:
   
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: No
Nature Conservation Area: No (abuts NCA)
Green Belt: Yes
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation: Heritage Land
   

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