Isleworth Cemetery

Poor little Isleworth deserves a lot better treatment than it's had. The beautiful pair of Gothic chapels are boarded up and fenced off; the mortuary is falling down; kerbstones have been kicked or fallen in. Hounslow Council may, though, be doing their belated best to tidy things up; there's evidence of contractors working on the site, though whether they're doing anything more than piling up pieces of broken headstone remains to be seen. I'd love the chapels to be opened again: the hints you can see from outside the fence speak of something rather lovely, and I wished I were younger and fitter and could shin over the barbed wire and have a proper look.

Even so, it's worth a visit. Two memorials particularly stand out. The red granite obelisk is for Alice Ayres, the nursemaid who rescued three children in her care from a fire. Overcome by smoke inhalation, she fell from the building, and injured her spine. She died two days later in Guy's Hospital. The monument was paid for by public subscription.

The grey granite baroque "pepper pot" is for the Pears soap dynasty, including Tom Pears who drowned in the Titanic disaster.

Visiting: Richmond station and then the H37 bus to the Isleworth war memorial; 267 bus from Hammersmith or Hampton Court; or one of the buses that goes along London Road: 235, 237, 635. Don't try and cut through West Middlesex Hospital to get to the cemetery from Twickenham Road; you need to walk down Park Road.

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Filed under: 19th Century 20th Century London Cemeteries .