|Old Mortlake Burial Ground||Richmond|
Land for what is now called Old Mortlake Burial Ground was purchased in 1854 and the first burial took place in December. In 1874 Mortlake Burial Board was established and further pieces of land were purchased, and the cemetery was enlarged to the west in 1877. The original cemetery chapel was demolished in 1969, its site marked by a an area of tarmac in front of the main entrance gates on South Worple Way. From here an avenue of mature horse chestnuts flanks the path that prior to the extension ran through the centre of the cemetery. A brick lodge was built at a second entrance on Avenue Gardens, now privately owned. The cemetery has many fine mature trees and a number of historic tombs including those of Charles Dickens' eldest son and sister-in-law.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2009
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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.
When the parish churchyard of St Mary the Virgin, Mortlake (q.v.) was full, the vestry bought land for a new cemetery in 1854 paid for by subscription. The first burial was that of William Langridge on 21 December of that year. In 1874 a Burial Board was formed and further pieces of land were purchased from Captain T K Fitzgerald and Mr W H Ratcliffe for £1,350 and £420 respectively, and the cemetery was enlarged to the west in 1877. It was paid for through a 30 year mortgage of £3,500, which the Board took out with Atlas Life against the poor-rates as security. The cemetery's grid system of paths is now gone but the original cast iron railings and main entrance gates remain. A path leads to the entrance on Avenue Gardens, where the brick lodge is now privately owned.
In the south-east corner of the cemetery is an obelisk over the grave of Admiral Lord William Fitzroy who lived in Mortlake. Buried here are Charles Dickens' son, also Charles (d.1896), and Dickens' sister-in-law Georgina Hogarth (d.1917); Sir Edwin Chadwick (1800-1890) who was instrumental in reforms to burial practices particularly through his report 'Practice of Interment in Towns' in 1843; Francis Godfrey (d.1868), Waterman to Queen Victoria; Admiral Sir Erasmus Ommaney (d.1904) who served on the Arctic Expeditions of 1838 and 1850; Thomas German Reed (d.1888) who with his wife Priscilla created the 'German Reed Entertainment' in 1855 'to provide dramatic amusement for that class of society which was reluctant to visit the theatres'. Some restoration work has been carried out in recent years, largely at the instigation of volunteers and one particular enthusiast who tends the cemetery.
Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008); John Eustace Anderson 'A History of Mortlake', 1886 (facsimile with amendments by Raymond Gill, 1983); John Archer, David Curson, 'Nature Conservation in Richmond upon Thames, Ecology Handbook 21', (London Ecology Unit) 1993 p83