Inventory Site Record

South Ealing Cemetery (Ealing)

Brief Description

South Ealing Cemetery was established by the Ealing and Old Brentford Burial Board in 1861 when space in the parish churchyard was running out. The cemetery was laid out with a series of straight drives with circular areas at intersections and an axial drive leading from the main entrance to two circular beds. The Gothic style cemetery buildings included 2 lodges, stone gate piers, and a pair of chapels joined by a porte-cochère. The cemetery was extended in 1907 and 1940. The older area has numerous mature trees and there are some good C19th monuments. Among those buried here is Rt Hon Spencer Walpole MP (d.1898) who owned Pitshanger Manor.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Ealing & Old Brentford Cemetery
Site location:
South Ealing Road/Popes Lane
W5 4RH
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Open to public?
Opening times:
Open: 8am weekdays, 9am weekends. Closing: 4.30pm Nov-Feb; 5.30pm Mar, Oct; 7pm Sept, Apr; 8pm May-Aug.
Special conditions:
no dogs
Public transport:
Tube: South Ealing (Piccadilly). Bus: 65
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.ealing.gov.uk/services/community/births_deaths_marriages/deaths/cemeteries

Full Site Description

The Cemetery was opened in 1861 by the Ealing and Old Brentford Burial Board, which had been formed in 1858 when burial space in the parish churchyard was running out. The 8-acre site that was purchased for the purpose in 1860 was accessible to both Ealing and Brentford. In 1863 Ealing became a separate district from Brentford, and the cemetery was later known as South Ealing Cemetery. The cemetery was laid out with a series of straight drives having circular areas at intersections. An axial yew-lined drive leads from the main entrance to two circular beds, one planted with yew and containing tombs, the second with a deodar; the walk across the axis between these two circles is now unnecessarily accentuated by birch planting. The Gothic style cemetery buildings were designed by Charles Jones (1830-1913), Surveyor to the Local Board from 1863 and later Borough Engineer, who was instrumental in much of Ealing's development. His buildings here included 2 lodges, stone gate piers with crocketed capitals, railings and a pair of chapels for Anglicans and Non-conformists joined by a porte-cochère.

Now bordered by housing, the cemetery was once adjacent to Ealing Local Board's Refuse Destructor or rubbish incinerator, an innovation that Charles Jones had introduced as a means of handling waste, first used in the North of England. He patented an adaptation of the existing design that reduced exhaust residue and made paving slabs from the clinker.

In 1907 a further 13 acres of land at the rear was added and consecrated by the Bishop of Kensington, at which time a memorial window in the chapel was unveiled to commemorate the late Vicar of St Paul's Brentford, Revd. Haydon Frederick Nelson. He had been Chair of the Ealing and Old Brentford Burial Board from 1893-1906 and was buried in a prominent position in the cemetery. A further extension was opened in 1940, consecrated by the Bishop of London with an entrance on Popes Lane with stone gate piers.

Within the older part of the cemetery the planting is mainly sycamore, some holly and a boundary planting of yew. Meller praises the 'magnificent magnolia trees' and the cemetery's 'air of a country churchyard'. There are good C19th monuments and among the illustrious people buried here are the Rt Hon Spencer Walpole (d.1898), Conservative MP and Secretary of State for the Home Office in the 1850s and '60s after whom Walpole Park (q.v.) is named and who owned Pitshanger Manor; Lionel Walter (d.1965), Premier Earl of Scotland for 23 years; Sir Stephen Walcott (d.1887), Chief Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioner in Canada. On the tomb of Mr Lucas, Director of the Brilliant Sign Company (d.1953), his name is shown in gold leaf behind glass. There is an extensive Polish section in the newer cemetery, evidence of Ealing's large Polish community. The cemetery is now closed to new burials, and only used for burials in re-opened family owned graves.

Sources consulted:

Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008); Middlesex County Times 7/12/1907, 30/11/1907, 6/7/1940; Peter Hounsell, 'Ealing and Hanwell Past' (Historical Publications, 1991); Peter Hounsell 'The Ealing Book' (Historical Publications, 2005)

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ177788 (517970,178920)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Ealing
Site management:
Cemeteries Office
1861; 1907; 1940
Charles Jones
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:
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Borough Importance II
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:

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