Mortlake Crematorium

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Mortlake Crematorium
General information
Type Crematorium

Kew Meadow Path,
Townmead Road,
United Kingdom

Area: Kew, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames[1]
Construction started 1936
Completed 1939
Opening 1939
Cost £27,000[2]
Owner London boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames
Management Mortlake Crematorium Board
Design and construction
Architect Douglas Barton[2]
Developer Hammersmith Metropolitan Borough Council

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.[3] 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".[4] Environmentalist Colin Hines describes it as "probably the most undiscovered deco treasure in London".[5] Hilary Grainger, writing in Encyclopedia of Cremation, describes the architectural style as Italianate and the building as having "beautiful cloisters with discrete brick detailing".[6] It has been a Grade II listed building since 2011.[7]


The crematorium is on Kew Meadow Path, Townsmead Road,[8] Kew.[1] It is situated on the banks 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 South Circular Road) and Chertsey Arterial Road.[9] The nearest London Underground station is Kew Gardens.


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.[10]

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,[7] borough surveyor to Hammersmith Metropolitan Borough Council,[7] 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,[3] he said: "You seem to have eliminated the sombreness of atmosphere which sometimes shrouds buildings such as these".[2][5] Mortlake Crematorium's outward appearance changed little over the following years until 1982, when Colin Gilbert, an architect from Ealing, designed additional gardens on the area of land between the crematorium and the river Thames.[11]

Notable cremations[edit]

Among those cremated here were:

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).[9] They include England rugby international Vivian Davies (1899–1941), Captain Royal Artillery.[30]


  1. ^ a b c "Kew Village Plan Consultation Boards" (PDF). Village Plans. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. p. 9. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "History and the board". Mortlake Crematorium. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "Notable dead at Mortlake" (PDF). Mortlake Crematorium. 14 December 2008. 
  4. ^ "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 13 November 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Colin Hines (2003). Decover & Out: Mortlake Crematorium. Art Deco London (Twickenham, London: Park House Press). p. 56. ISBN 0-9544751-0-0. 
  6. ^ Hilary Grainger. "Cloisters" in Lewis H. Mates; Douglas J. Davies (editors). Encyclopedia of Cremation. Ashgate ebook. 
  7. ^ a b c Historic England. "Mortlake Crematorium (1400834)". National Heritage List for England. 
  8. ^ "Contact". Mortlake Crematorium. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Cemetery details: Mortlake Crematorium". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  10. ^ David Blomfield (1994). Kew Past. Phillimore & Co Ltd. pp. 76–77. ISBN 0-85033-923-5. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "Mortlake Crematorium" (PDF). On Kew. Spring 2006. 
  12. ^ Kieran Smith (6 March 2002). "Richard Beckinsale". Find a Grave. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "Tarka Cordell's funeral". The Daily Telegraph. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  14. ^ a b c Amy Dyduch (8 June 2014). "Mortlake Crematorium marks 75 years". Richmond and Twickenham Times. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  15. ^ Bob Hufford (9 February 2010). "Margaret Elizabeth Bolum Dale". Find a Grave. Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  16. ^ Kieran Smith (13 June 2013). "Dick Emery". Find a Grave. Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  17. ^ "Transitions". The Advocate (Here Publishing) (681): 19. 16 May 1995. ISSN 0001-8996. 
  18. ^ Roger Lewis (2002). Charles Hawtrey 1914–1988: The Man Who Was Private Widdle. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0571210893. 
  19. ^ "Russell Hoban". Find a Grave. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  20. ^ C E Hubbard (November 1975). "John Hutchinson. 7 April 1884 -- 2 September 1972". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 21: 45–365. 
  21. ^ David Cesarani (1988). Arthur Koestler: The Homeless Mind. ISBN 0-684-86720-6. 
  22. ^ Iain Stewart. "Grave location for holders of the Victoria Cross in Surrey". Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  23. ^ Steve Williams. "A Titanic Connection: Second Officer Charles Lightoller 1874 – 1952". Brindle Historical Society. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  24. ^ "Poignant farewell to Price". BBC News. 8 May 2002. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  25. ^ Calum McDonald and 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. 
  26. ^ "Leonard Rossiter". Find a Grave. 29 January 2001. Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  27. ^ Amy Dyduch (17 April 2013). "Margaret Thatcher supporters line streets of Mortlake". Richmond and Twickenham Times (London). Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  28. ^ Andrew Murray Scott (2012). Alexander Trocchi: The Making of the Monster (Second edition, revised and expanded. ed.). Edinburgh: Polygon. p. 220. ISBN 978-1-84921-072-0. 
  29. ^ "Cremation Writes Finis To Dr. Ward's Sordid Career After Suicide Verdict". St. Petersburg Times. 9 August 1963. pp. 3–A. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  30. ^ "Davies, Vivian Gordon". Casualty details. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 

External links[edit]

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