Chingford Mount Cemetery (Waltham Forest)
Chingford Mount Cemetery was set up by the non-conformist Abney Park Cemetery Company in 1884 when its cemetery in Hackney had become congested. The site purchased was Caroline's Mount or the Mount Caroline Estate, so-called after the wife of the land owner. In 1975 new owners wished to build housing on part of the unused land but this proposal was opposed and the cemetery subsequently became neglected and its chapel and lodges vandalised. In 1977 it was acquired by LB Waltham Forest. The gates at the western main entrance survive from the C19th layout, with a short avenue lined by mature London plane trees, and the cemetery is densely planted with mature trees.
- Previous / Other name:
- Caroline Mount
- Site location:
- Old Church Road, Chingford Mount
- E4 6ST
- Type of site:
- Waltham Forest
- Open to public?
- Opening times:
- Open: Mon-Sat 7.30am/Sun 10am.Closed: 4pm (Nov-Jan); 5pm (Feb/Oct + Mar/Sep on Sun); 6pm (Mar/Sept+Apr-Aug on Sun); 7pm (Apr-Aug).BH/Gd Fri 7.30-4pm
- Special conditions:
- Public transport:
- Rail: Chingford; Walthamstow Central then bus. Tube: Walthamstow Central (Victoria) then bus. Bus: 97, 215
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2012
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.walthamforest.gov.uk/Pages/ServiceChild/chingford-mount-cemetery
Full Site Description
Chingford Mount Cemetery was set up by the non-conformist Abney Park Cemetery Company in 1884 when its cemetery in Hackney, Abney Park Cemetery (q.v.) had become congested, in order ‘to provide Christian burials for all’. The site purchased by the Cemetery Company was known as Caroline's Mount or the Mount Caroline Estate, so-called after the wife of the Admiral who owned the land. Mount Caroline house, which was pulled down to make way for the new cemetery, was one of the oldest and largest houses in the parish, which apparently had had 'a nice garden at the back and ancient outbuildings'.
The contents of two burial grounds were transferred to Chingford Mount, the first being in 1898 when ‘200 lead coffins, wood coffins and iron coffins’ were transferred from the C18th non-conformist Whitefield's Tabernacle burial ground in Tottenham Court Road. It is not known why the burial ground had to be closed, possibly because the land was sold for building purposes. George Whitefield was a famous evangelist, a contemporary of John and Charles Wesley. Although his wife was buried in the Tabernacle burial ground and later transferred to Chingford Mount, George Whitefield died and was buried in America. Similarly the intention had been for the Wesleys to be buried at Whitefield's Tabernacle, but John Wesley was buried at the Wesley Chapel in City Road, London, and Charles in the Old Marylebone Churchyard. In 1933 the churchyard remains of Ram's Chapel in Homerton were transferred to Chingford Mount. Ram’s Chapel had been built by banker Stephen Ram in 1723 when he was unable to secure an exclusive pew for his family in Hackney Parish Church. Although Ram's Chapel had flourished for many years, by 1933 it had fallen into disuse, hence the need to close the burial ground.
In 1975 new owners of Chingford Mount Cemetery wished to build housing on part of the unused land but this proposal was opposed and the cemetery subsequently became neglected, its 2 red brick lodges gutted and the ragstone chapel burnt down destroying most of its records. The cemetery was then acquired by LB Waltham Forest in 1977. Since 1981, only lawn type memorials have been permitted and the newer areas are laid out in lawn type cemetery design. The entrance gates and piers of red brick and iron on the western main entrance survive from the C19th layout, with a short avenue lined by mature London plane trees, which crosses a small canal.
Among those buried here are the sculptor John Bacon (d.1799) whose Chatham Memorial can be found in Westminster Abbey and his memorials in St Paul’s include that of Samuel Johnson; and Benjamin Pollock (d.1937), the toy theatre maker, who set up Pollock’s Toy Shop in Hoxton. One of the largest funerals seen here in recent years was that of East End gangster Ronnie Kray in 1995 which processed to Chingford Mount from St Matthew's church in Bethnal Green (q.v.); Frances Kray, the wife of his brother Reggie was also buried here in 1967.
Chingford Mount is a huge cemetery on undulating ground, and the grave plots are densely packed in most areas with roadways and paths between them. The site is thickly planted with mature trees including holly, poplar, horse chestnut, yew and coniferous species, and it is now designated a site of local nature conservation importance. The cemetery has two entrances on Old Church Road, the lower one being the main one with C19th gates and a new lodge building, and the upper entrance is opposite All Saints Churchyard (q.v.).
Chingford Notes; Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008); Robert Burley, Meg Game, Mathew Frith 'Nature Conservation in Waltham Forest', Ecology Handbook 11 (London Ecology Unit, 1989)
Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
- Grid ref:
- Size in hectares:
- Site ownership:
- LB Waltham Forest
- Site management:
- Environmental Services, Cemeteries Dept. (Chingford Mount Cemetery)
- 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:
- Nature Conservation Area:
- Yes - Local Importance
- Green Belt:
- Metropolitan Open Land:
- Special Policy Area:
- Other LA designation: