|St James' Churchyard, Hampton Hill||Richmond|
The parish of St James was created in 1863, at first called New Hampton, changing to Hampton Hill in 1890. The land had been part of Hounslow Heath. At first there was only a small churchyard around the church and the parish churchyard at Hampton was generally used for burials, but as the parish grew land next to the church was given for a larger churchyard in 1882 and it was extended again in 1924. The well-planted churchyard has numerous native and non-native trees, and has gates and a lych-gate at the east entrance. There is a War Memorial to the dead of both world wars and a garden of remembrance was laid out in c.1962. It closed to burials in 1990.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2012
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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.
The area was within the parish of St Mary-the-Virgin, Hampton (q.v.) until the new parish of St James was created in 1863. It was originally the southern corner of Hounslow Heath (q.v.), which was enclosed under The Commons Enclosure Act of 1811 and converted into glebe land for the benefit of Hampton parish. Initially called The Common, then New Hampton and finally changed to Hampton Hill in 1890, the community grew from the early 1860s when the extension of the Thames Valley Railway encouraged new industry here, including Hampton Water Works. Conditions for the working population were poor, with few facilities, and the parish of St James was created to serve their needs. The church was designed by W. Wigginton in 1864, the north aisle added in 1874, the chancel enlarged in 1877, and the south aisle added in 1879. The west tower with pinnacles and spire was added by Romaine-Walker and Tanner in 1887. There are plaques to Lord and Lady Paget and family on the church wall.
Although there was a small churchyard around St James Church, with at least one burial taking place in 1864, the parish churchyard of St Mary at Hampton was used for burial until 1882. The vicar of Hampton then provided an acre of glebe land in Park Road for St James' Churchyard. This was enclosed in 1888, in an attempt to keep children from using it as a playground, stealing flowers, and other acts of vandalism, which seems to have been a recurring problem. In 1897 improvements to the churchyard included erection of a Memorial Cross by public subscription in memory of the Station Master Mr Vesey, and re-location of the lych-gate from its original location on St James's Road to the current position on Park Road, with the path to the church door created in 1900. Some of the horse chestnut trees in the churchyard were removed in 1899 and 1901 to create more space and light, but also to stop children throwing stones at the conkers, threatening the church windows! Smaller ornamental trees were planted in their stead, including yew, holly and copper beech, and in 1910 a seat was donated by a parishioner. A churchyard fund was set up in 1917 to attend to its maintenance.
There are a number of graves of soldiers who died in WWI including 12 Canadian soldiers who were in the hospital at Upper Lodge, Bushy Park (q.v.), and in 1920 the War Memorial was unveiled in the churchyard. In 1924 the churchyard was again extended onto land of the vicarage field, and a new wall was built, the gates kept locked much of the time to keep dogs out. A new lych-gate was donated and in 1952 the gate at the east end, and new wrought iron railings and gates at the west end, were erected replacing those that had been removed for the war effort. In 1962 the Garden of Remembrance was laid out near a copper beech and the lych gate, the work of some 50 parishioners, who levelled an area containing 30 small grave mounds, thought to be those of children who had died in the influenza epidemic of 1919, The new garden consisted of a lawn, rose beds and paving and continues to be used for cremated ashes. In 1990 the churchyard closed to burials apart from burials in existing plots and churchyard maintenance passed to LB Richmond. A complete record of churchyard plans and graves has now been completed. Just south of the church a Time Capsule was buried by the Hampton Hill Brownies and Guides for the year 2000.
The churchyard today is bounded by a holly hedge to Park Road and within is well planted with numerous trees, mainly in the northern section, including copper beech, walnut, weeping ash, pine, sycamore, silver birch and pedunculate oak, and has more open ground in the south, with fine bluebell displays at the east end of the churchyard. The adjacent vicarage garden was once an orchard, and still has one large apple tree.
John Archer, David Curson, 'Nature Conservation in Richmond upon Thames, Ecology Handbook 21', (London Ecology Unit) 1993 p77; Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (Penguin) 1999 p502.; 'History of St James Churchyard' on church website