Wednesday, 26 September 2012

West Norwood Cemetery

The graveyard is situated in the London borough of Lambeth. The main entrance can be found on Norwood road, West Norwood, London. There is a second entrance found near the station but that one is usually closed. The closest station is West Norwood.

The graveyard was founded by its own act of Parliament on 1836. It was consecrated on 7th December 1837 by the Bishop of Winchester. The first burial was not long after this.

Sir Henry Doulton: English businessman, inventor, manufacturer of pottery and developed the firm of Royal Doulton.

Isabella Beeton: Widely known as “Mrs. Beeton”, a famous cookery writer.

Sir Hiram Maxim: Inventor if the automatic machine gun.
David Roberts: Artist

William Collingwood Smith: Painter
Sister Eliza Roberts: Florence Nightingales principle nurse during the Crimean war.

Patsy Smart: Actress (Upstairs, Downstairs)

Sir Henry Tate: Founder of Tate & Lyle and the Tate gallery.

Charles Spurgeon: Baptist preacher
C.W Alcock: Founder of test cricket and the FA cup.

It was once known as the South Metropolitan Cemetery.


The site is over 40 acres. The layout of the site is almost square shaped with it pointing up to a hill.

As I walk towards the graveyard I am greeted by these massive, Gothic rot iron gates. A lovely site to be welcomed to I must say. A good 90% of this grave yard is very old and historical. No hidden old parts around here. There is a good 40 acres of this place for me to explore.

There is a massive path right in front of you, as you walk down it you have crypts either side of you. The crypts themselves are built in a beautiful Gothic style. Very old and weather beaten, you can just about peek through the windows, but don’t get yourself too excited, all you will see is a massive tomb…and lots of cobwebs! The main entrance part has all the modern lawn and new graves, beautiful to look at and strangely enough, not that new looking. The memorial garden is stunning to look at. It was actually built on the site of the old Episcopal chapel which was levelled out due to substantial damage from a bomb attack in WW2. The catacombs are under this part as well but unfortunately, they are inaccessible to the public. Apparently they open it every now and then though so you would need to keep an eye out for it.
As you walk around the path, you also begin walking up a pretty steep hill (if you are pretty unhealthy then this may not be for you!). I eventually came across the old Greek Orthodox Necropolis. It all seems quite cramped in this one little area but amazing all the same. A massive monument at the back really stands out. It actually felt very calm in that part, for what reason I don’t know.
Towards the top of the hill you have the crematorium. Not a whole lot of feature to it, just a basic building really. It does however, hold most of the finest collection of monuments and crypts. They are very grand. From the top of the hill you can see the unconsecrated ground. This is hidden away in all the trees and bushes. I got quite a sad presence walking through it, a feeling of loss and like some kind of wrong had been done. What that wrong was I will never know.

As I was walking around, I constantly felt like I was either being watched or being followed, but not in an evil way, more like a nosey ghost kind of way! (You will probably have to zoom in to see these photos).


This one is pretty hard to see and I have speculated it a little bit myself. When I take photos I try and make sure that no one is in shot and I try to remember how the statues where before I took them. The statue I have circled, I am pretty sure that it was facing the other way. I could be wrong but I added it in here anyway.

There appears to be a face in-between the trees. I have not had these ones checked but the outlines stand out enough for me to believe that there is something here.


If you look up into the trees, there is the clear outline of a Smokey, faded face.

This is truly a grand and very beautiful graveyard. It is about the only one in London that has retained its history. If you are ever in this area then I highly suggest that you check this one out. You can be there all day and still not be bored.

“Respect those who are not physically here, you can’t see them but they can see you, and disrespect is something they don’t want to see”

RATING: 5/5 – a stunning place and very well preserved! Definitely one to go and check out.



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