The moment of my greatness, Flickr
Category Archives: 19th Century
Deptford Cemetery and Ladywell Cemetery were founded adjacent to each other in 1858. Though the A to Z still shows them as separate, they were amalgamated in 1948, a grassy ridge marking the place of the old boundary wall. The eastern Ladywell end tends to be the more interesting, with its wrought iron gates incorporating the words ''Ladywell Cemetery'', and some of the larger pink granite monuments showing damage from a World War Two bomb (two unexploded bombs remain in the cemetery).
Barnes Common Cemetery is an absolute tragedy. Opened in 1854, it survived happily until 1966, when Richmond Borough Council bought it from the Church with the intention of turning it into a lawn cemetery. If they had stuck with this execrable plan, things would have been bad enough: their first move, however, was to demolish the lodge and chapel, and to remove railings and gates, leaving the place open for vandals to complete what the Council had begun.
Today, it's a wasted sort of place: a few broken headstones survive, but most of the ground is overgrown and seems to be used mainly for drinking and sex. In 1971, a local councillor was heard to say that "I've seen burial grounds at Flanders marched over by scores of troops, but even they didn''t look as bad as Barnes Cemetery." That, thirty-five years later, no effort has been made to improve things is a complete disgrace.
4th November 2005: I have contacted Richmond's cemetery office to ask about their plans for the future of the site: if I get any reponse, it will be posted here.
7th November 2005: A Monday morning response from Richmond! Barnes Common Cemetery is no longer in the keeping of the cemetery office; it is now looked after by the parks department. My email has been passed along, and it is trusted that I will get a full response from them.
Updated 2011: I never got a response from the Parks Department.