Inventory Site Record

Chislehurst Cemetery

Chislehurst Cemetery (Bromley)

Brief Description

Chislehurst Cemetery, the largest of Bromley's municipal cemeteries, opened in 1912. The need for a new burial ground was noted from 1905 when the parish churchyard of St Nicholas was becoming full. The land, formerly a field, was purchased from Robert Marsham-Townshend, the Lord of the Manor of Chislehurst and Scadbury. A design competition was held for the cemetery buildings, won by Curtis Green, architect of the Dorchester Hotel. Milner, Son and White were appointed landscape gardeners in October 1910 to design the roads, paths, layout and planting. The cemetery layout has changed little, although by 1960 it had been extended to the north by annexing part of Hoblands Woods.

Practical Information
Site location:
Beaverwood Road, Chislehurst
Type of site:
Open to public?
Opening times:
Daily April-Sept: 10am-7pm; October-March 10am-4pm
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Bus :160, 269 stop in Perry Street at end of Beaverwood Road.

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/12/2008
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

Chislehurst Cemetery is the largest of Bromley's municipal cemeteries and opened in 1912. In October 1905 a report to the Chislehurst and Sidcup UDC noted that the parish churchyard of St Nicholas was becoming full and steps needed to be taken to provide land for a local cemetery. In early 1906 the Council was already negotiating with the agent for the largest local landowner, Robert Marsham-Townshend, Lord of the Manor of Chislehurst and Scadbury, regarding the purchase of a 2.5 acre site in Perry Street for a Council depot, and they were instructed to enquire about the availability of further land for a cemetery. In October the same year Marsham-Townshend offered 7 or 8 acres at £300 per acre on a site in Perry Street. The site was a field that in 1840 was called Nutgrove, when it was part of Dickenson's Farm, later Beaverwood Farm, part of the estate of Lord Sydney. This had no frontage to Perry Street and the Council were to make up the access road, now Beaverwood Road.

In April 1908 it was agreed that a loan of £12,065 would be raised by the Council for purchase of the land and all the necessary works and in early 1909 a design competition was held for the chapel, lodge, mortuary, depot and entrance gates. Mr Curtis Green, designer of the Dorchester Hotel in London, won the competition, which was assessed by Ernest Newton. The building contract of £4,995 9s was awarded to J N Howard of Chislehurst Road, Orpington, and Mr C Dawe appointed Clerk of the Works. The red-brick chapel, which has a deep Gothic hooded doorway and tall windows on each side, was built c.1910. Milner, Son and White were appointed landscape gardeners in October 1910 and their fee for designing the roads, paths, layout and planting was £10. The firm had been founded by Edward Milner (1819-1884), joined by his son Henry Ernest Milner (1845-1906) in 1870s, later joined by Edward White (1873-1952) to become Milner, Son and White. Cannell and Sons of Crokenhill won the tender for tree planting in late 1911 and in early 1913 the same firm was replacing some trees and planting creepers around the chapel, two Ampelopsis on the north wall and two Magnolia Grandiflora on the south.

The cemetery layout has changed little, although between 1938 and 1960 it was extended to the north by annexing part of Hoblands Woods. Today the cemetery is surrounded by iron railings; near the main entrance, to the east of the chapel, is a toilet block and shelter with seats. The main north-south path from the entrance is flanked by western red cedar trees, with a group of trees at the circle at the north end consisting of an oak, holly and a field maple. On the south side of the path joining the two most northerly circles is a small avenue of crab apple trees. Among the monuments is a memorial to the Bunzle family. In the north-west corner of the cemetery is a memorial garden for cremations marked by horizontal inscribed slabs set into the grass, with another railed area on the north-east dedicated as a children's memorial area. Although still open, the cemetery ran out of space in 2005 and burials have taken place on the verges.

Sources consulted:

LB Bromley Cemeteries page on website; Chislehurst and Sidcup UDC Minute Books, No 3 1904-06, No 4 1906-7, No 6 1908-9, No 7 1909-10, No 8 1910-11, No 9 1911-12 and No 10, 1912-13; D Spurgeon and R Hopper, 'Discover Chislehurst' (Baron, 2007), p.67.

LPGT Volunteer Research by A J Allnutt, 2008

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ453710 (545380,171202)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Bromley
Site management:
Cemeteries Office (contracted to English Landscapes)
Milner, Son and White (landscape designer)
Listed structures:
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


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:
In Conservation Area:
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:

Page Top