Lambeth Cemetery

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Lambeth Cemetery, Blackshaw Road, Tooting, London SW17 0BY is in Tooting in the London Borough of Wandsworth. It is one of three cemeteries now owned by the London Borough of Lambeth (the others being the South Metropolitan Cemetery in West Norwood and Streatham Cemetery also outside Lambeth and in the London Borough of Wandsworth).


Like Streatham, Lambeth Cemetery was developed by a parish burial board in 1854 following the Metropolitan Burial Act of 1852 which was a response to the second cholera epidemic of 1848-49.[1][2] It was one of a series of measures related to public health problems consequent on the growth of London.

It is organised as a rectangular grid of paths, has a few trees and is sited just east of the River Wandle in what was countryside in the 1850s and was largely to remain so for some decades. There are two lodges beside the main gate in Blackshaw Road and a memorial chapel, all built in brick in a Gothic style and designed by F.K.Wehnert and J.Ashdown.[3] The cemetery was extended to the south in 1874 when Robert Taylor was chairman of Lambeth Burial Board and Hugh Mcintosh was the surveyor who laid out the extension.[4] There is also a Crematorium and Garden of Remembrance opened in May 1969 in 10 acres (40,000 m2) of gardens at the northern end.[5]

Another noteworthy feature is the screen wall memorial, in the south west corner of the cemetery, unveiled in 1953 for both First and Second World War graves of Commonwealth service personnel which could not be marked by CWGC headstones. There are 217 Commonwealth war graves from the First and 145 from the Second World War, besides one Belgian war grave and 29 British non-world war service graves.[6]

Interments and current use[edit]

Lambeth cemetery is said to house 250,000 burials and was associated with Victorian music hall artists, notables including the comedians Dan Leno and Stanley Lupino. Between 1969 and 1991 it was subject to "lawn conversion",[7] and today presents a sad aspect of straight paths dotted with trees and predominantly modern, late 20th-century gravestones, many of which have been staked to stop them falling over, with occasional 19th-century gravestones and monuments. The cemetery is watched over by green woodpeckers and sparrowhawks and the site is predominantly neutral grassland.[8] The Garden of Remembrance near the Crematorium is maintained as a mown grass parkland.



  1. ^ Lambeth Crematorium
  2. ^ Outline of the growth of Metropolitan cemeteries
  3. ^ Cherry & Pevsner (1983), p. 698
  4. ^ Source of information on the extension is the stone inscription in the boundary fence in Blackshaw Road at the south end of the 1954 cemetery.
  5. ^ Documents the Crematorium
  6. ^ [1] CWGC Cemetery Report.
  7. ^ See Memorandum of the Friends of West Norwood Cemetery to the (House of Commons) Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Region Affairs]
  8. ^ The wildlife value of Lambeth Cemetery


Cherry, Bridget; Pevsner, Nicholaus (1983), London 2: South, Buildings of England, Penguin Books 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°25′40″N 0°10′52″W / 51.42778°N 0.18111°W / 51.42778; -0.18111