Inventory Site Record

Teddington Cemetery *

Teddington Cemetery * (Richmond)

Brief Description

* on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens

Teddington Cemetery opened in 1879, set up by Richmond Burial Board who ran a competition to select the architect to design the cemetery's layout, chapels, lodge and mortuary. The original layout was simple, with a main drive bisecting an oval path, in the centre of which were two gothic chapels linked by a porte-cochère, with a circular lawn at the final point of the main drive. The cemetery was extended a number of times, most recently in the late C20th. It is notable for its many fine mature trees, particularly in the area of the original cemetery, and has interesting tombs

Practical Information
Site location:
Shacklegate Lane/Strathmore Road, Teddington
TW11 8SF
Type of site:
Open to public?
Opening times:
10am-4.30pm (November - March); 10am - 6.30pm (April - October)
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Rail: Fulwell. Bus: 33, 281

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2009
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

Site on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens, for Register Entry see

Following the 1852 Burial Act and its subsequent amendments in the 1850s, parish vestries were empowered to set up Burial Boards and establish cemeteries to replace or supplement parish churchyards. Richmond began seeking a site for a new cemetery in 1875 when the parish churchyard of St Mary's Teddington, now St Mary with St Alban's (q.v.) was full. A new Burial Board was set up and in 1877 purchased c.1.6 hectares of land in Shacklegate Lane from Mr Travers Smith, previously an orchard, and announced a competition for the new cemetery with prizes of 15 guineas and 5 guineas. Mr T. Goodchild was the architect who won the competition to design the layout and buildings, which included a pair of chapels, entrance lodge and mortuary. Teddington Cemetery opened in 1879, its main entrance having the original cast-iron gates and brick gate piers and the lodge, a gabled barge-boarded ragstone building. The original layout was simple, with a main drive bisecting an oval path, in the centre of which were two gothic chapels with crocketed spires linked by an imposing porte-cochère, with a circular lawn at the final point of the main drive. The western chapel was originally for Anglican use and the eastern chapel for nonconformists; two-thirds of the land was consecrated and one third unconsecrated. By 1970 the spires were in danger of collapse but were eventually restored in the late C20th.

By 1915 the cemetery had been extended to the north with a formal axially symmetrical layout that extended to the older part of the ground. In c.1960 the cemetery was further extended to the north-west on land that had been a nursery and allotments, and was laid out with a similar arrangement of paths. An additional extension of 0.6 hectares was added in the late C20th to the south-west. The most striking feature of the cemetery is the large number of trees, many well over 100 years old. Mature trees in the older part of the cemetery include cedar, weeping beech, holly, yew, cypress, giant redwood and a fine monkey puzzle. Several cherry trees, probably the remains of the former orchard are scattered in the lawns of the cemetery. Cypresses surrounded by heather and grass are planted at many of the meeting points of paths and at the junction of the main and central east/west axes north of the chapels. The main path from the entrance towards the chapels is planted with a semi-mature deodar cedar to each side. The central entrance on Shacklegate Lane, c.100m south-west of the main entrance, marks the former west boundary of the old cemetery and is lined with trees, near which is the small gothic mortuary built in 1879, hidden among trees and shrubbery, this western area having been cleared of tombs.

The cemetery contains many interesting tombstones with the greatest concentration of C19th graves along the north / south axis. Queen Victoria's state coachman John Wagland (d.1892) is buried here, his tomb erected at her behest. Among others buried here are John Walter (d.1812), founder of The Times; Sir Thomas Nelson (d.1885), Solicitor to the City of London from 1862-1885 who conducted the litigation that secured the freedom of Epping Forest; Col Alexander MacDonald (d.1889) :'The last chief of the old historic family of Glencoe' who had fought in the battles of Alma and Inkerman in the Crimean War; Edward Whymper (d.1911), wood engraver and the first man to climb the Matterhorn; and Richard Doddridge Blackmore (d.1900), best known for his novel 'Lorna Doone' published in 1869. In 1853 Blackmore had been appointed classics master at Wellesley House Grammar School in Twickenham and soon afterwards he moved Hampton Wick and then in 1860, following a bequest from his uncle in 1857, he built Gomer House in Teddington where he lived until his death, worshipping at Teddington parish church. He developed a c.4.5 hectare market garden in his grounds specialising in fruit cultivation, selling his produce in Covent Garden. A Teddington merchant described him as 'not a social man and seems wedded to his garden in the summer and his book writing in the winter. That is all I know of him; except that he keeps the most vicious dogs to protect his fruit, and I would advise you to avoid the risk of visiting him'.

Sources consulted:

Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008); Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (Penguin) 1999; J Sheaf and K Howe 'Hampton and Teddington Past' 1995; Richmond Local History Archive.

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Richmond
Site management:
Environment Planning and Review, Cemeteries Office
T. Goodchild
Listed structures:
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

NHLE grade:
Grade II
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:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Open Land of Townscape Importance

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