Mortlake Crematorium

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Mortlake Crematorium
Mortlake Crematorium.jpg
General information
LocationKew Meadow Path
United Kingdom Area: Kew, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames[1]
Construction started1936
OwnerLondon boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames
ManagementMortlake Crematorium Board
Design and construction
Architect(s)Douglas Barton[2]
DeveloperHammersmith Metropolitan Borough Council
Listed Building – Grade II
Official nameMortlake Crematorium
Designated5 May 2011
Reference no.1400834

Mortlake Crematorium is a crematorium in Kew,[1] near its boundary with Mortlake, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It opened in 1939, next to Mortlake Cemetery.

The crematorium serves the boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames in the west and south-west of London. It is managed by a board made up of three elected councillors from each of these four boroughs.[2]

Citing it as "a rare example" of Art Deco design in the borough, Richmond upon Thames Council has described it as "a building of exceptional quality and character".[3] Environmentalist Colin Hines describes it as "probably the most undiscovered deco treasure in London".[4] Hilary Grainger, writing in Encyclopedia of Cremation, describes the architectural style as Italianate and the building as having "beautiful cloisters with discrete brick detailing".[5] It has been a Grade II listed building since 2011, being assessed by Historic England as having "a distinctive Art Deco design that survives little altered in a compact and practical composition".[6]


The crematorium is on Kew Meadow Path, Townsmead Road,[7] Kew.[1] It is situated on the south bank of the River Thames by Chiswick Bridge and in Clifford Avenue, adjoining Mortlake Cemetery (Hammersmith New Cemetery) in the angle of Mortlake Road (which forms part of the A205, the South Circular Road) and the A316 road. The nearest train stations are Kew Gardens (for London Underground and London Overground trains) and Mortlake (for South Western Railway services).


Mortlake Crematorium was built on the site of Pink's Farm, which had belonged to Richard Atwood, whose family were prominent market gardeners in the area.[8]

It was licensed in 1936 under the Mortlake Crematorium Act 1936, thereby becoming the first to be established under its own Act of Parliament.[2] Designed by Douglas Barton,[6] borough surveyor to Hammersmith Metropolitan Borough Council,[6] the building was constructed in three years at a cost of £27,000.[2] It was also equipped with a Garden of Remembrance for the burial or scattering of ashes, and also offered panels and niches in which ashes could be deposited. When the facility was finally opened in January 1939 by Lord Horder, the then Physician to the King, he said: "You seem to have eliminated the sombreness of atmosphere which sometimes shrouds buildings such as these".[2][4] After that, there was very little change in Mortlake Crematorium's outward appearance until 1982, when Colin Gilbert, an architect from Ealing, designed additional gardens between the crematorium and the River Thames.[2] Since 2015 the crematorium has had a memorial garden dedicated to the memory of babies and children, based on Doris Stickley's story "Water Bugs and Dragonflies".[9][10]

Three new, larger cremators were installed in the crematory in 2012.[11]

Notable cremations[edit]

Among those cremated here were:

World War II memorial[edit]

Seventy-seven Commonwealth servicemen of World War II were cremated here and their names are listed on a screen wall memorial erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in the adjoining Mortlake Cemetery (Hammersmith New Cemetery).[38] They include England rugby international Vivian Davies (1899–1941), who was a Captain in the Royal Artillery.[39]


  1. ^ a b c "Village Plan for the Kew area". London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. 12 July 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "History and the board". Mortlake Crematorium. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning. Report of: Assistant Director Environment Planning & Review. Subject: Buildings of Townscape Merit". London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. 9 February 2004. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b Colin Hines (2003). Decover & Out: Mortlake Crematorium. Art Deco London. Twickenham, London: Park House Press. p. 56. ISBN 0-9544751-0-0.
  5. ^ Hilary Grainger (2005). "Cloisters" in Lewis H Mates; Douglas J Davies (editors). Encyclopedia of Cremation. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7546-3773-8.
  6. ^ a b c Historic England. "Mortlake Crematorium (1400834)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Contact". Mortlake Crematorium. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  8. ^ David Blomfield (1994). Kew Past. Phillimore & Co Ltd. pp. 76–77. ISBN 0-85033-923-5.
  9. ^ "West London Sands Receives Sizeable Donation From Mortlake Crematorium". 22 June 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  10. ^ Doris Stickley. "Water Bugs and Dragonfiles". Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  11. ^ Jonathan Owen; Tabby Kinder (11 March 2012). "A nail in the coffin of old funeral ways". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Tarka Cordell's funeral". The Daily Telegraph. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  13. ^ a b c Amy Dyduch (8 June 2014). "Mortlake Crematorium marks 75 years". Richmond and Twickenham Times. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  14. ^ Marcus K Harmes (2017). Roger Delgado: I am usually referred to as The Master: a biography. London: Fantom Publishing. p. 213. ISBN 978-1-78196-300-5.
  15. ^ "Transitions". The Advocate. Here Media (681): 19. 16 May 1995. ISSN 0001-8996.
  16. ^ Steve Dawson (9 May 2016). "What Happened to Edd Gould of Eddsworld? – A 2017 Update". Gazette Review. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  17. ^ Roger Lewis (2002). Charles Hawtrey 1914–1988: The Man Who Was Private Widdle. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0571210893.
  18. ^ Scott Wilson (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons. McFarland & Company. p. 344. ISBN 978-0-7864-7992-4.
  19. ^ C E Hubbard (November 1975). "John Hutchinson. 7 April 1884 – 2 September 1972". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 21: 345–365. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1975.0009. JSTOR 769686. S2CID 85985378.
  20. ^ David Cesarani (1998). Arthur Koestler: The Homeless Mind. William Heinemann Ltd. ISBN 978-0434113057.
  21. ^ Iain Stewart. "Grave location for holders of the Victoria Cross in Surrey". Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  22. ^ Steve Williams. "A Titanic Connection: Second Officer Charles Lightoller 1874–1952". Brindle Historical Society. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  23. ^ a b "Mortlake Crematorium" (PDF). On Kew. Kew Society. Spring 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  24. ^ Jean MacColl (2009). Sun on the Water – The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of my Daughter Kirsty. John Blake Publishing. p. 344. ISBN 978-1-61185-976-8. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  25. ^ "Humanist Heritage: Ernestine Mills (1871-1959)". Humanist Heritage. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  26. ^ Mark Braxton (7 November 2016). "Friends, family and famous fans bid farewell to Dad's Army creator 'Gentleman Jim' Perry". Radio Times. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  27. ^ "Poignant farewell to Price". BBC News. 8 May 2002. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  28. ^ John Lawton (1992). Unholy Joy: 50 Years On – A Short History of the Profumo Affair. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-1-61185-976-8.
  29. ^ Calum McDonald; Karen Bale (4 December 2003). "Top Scots actor dies on stage: Gordon has heart attack". Daily Record (Scotland), republished by The Free Library. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  30. ^ a b Gordon Rayner & Andrew Hough (17 April 2013). "Baroness Thatcher: Tearful Sir Mark and Carol Thatcher say final farewell to their mother at cremation". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  31. ^ Amy Dyduch (17 April 2013). "Margaret Thatcher supporters line streets of Mortlake". Richmond and Twickenham Times. London. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  32. ^ Andrew Sparrow; Paul Owen (17 April 2013). "Margaret Thatcher's funeral – Tuesday 16 April". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  33. ^ "Baroness Thatcher's funeral: Procession details". ITV. 17 April 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  34. ^ Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street (16 April 2013). "Lady Thatcher's funeral – timings". Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  35. ^ Andrew Murray Scott (2012). Alexander Trocchi: The Making of the Monster (Second, revised and expanded ed.). Edinburgh: Polygon. p. 220. ISBN 978-1-84921-072-0.
  36. ^ "Cremation Writes Finis To Dr. Ward's Sordid Career After Suicide Verdict". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Florida. 9 August 1963. pp. 3–A. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  37. ^ Ben Weich (30 April 2016). "Oscar-winning special effects guru and East Sheen native Kit West dies aged 80". Richmond and Twickenham Times. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  38. ^ "Mortlake Crematorium". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  39. ^ "Captain Vivian Gordon Davies". Casualty details. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 12 July 2022.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°28′22″N 0°16′25″W / 51.4728°N 0.2735°W / 51.4728; -0.2735