Margravine Cemetery (officially Hammersmith Cemetery) provides an area of grassland and trees within a heavily built-up area of central London (map) at OS coordinates TQ 240 782, tetrad TQ27p. The site covers 6.2 hectares (16.5 acres). It is managed by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
History[edit | edit source]
In 1866, to comply with an Act of Parliament banning further interments in metropolitan churchyards because of overcrowding and unsanitary conditions, the Hammersmith Burial Board purchased nearly 10 acres of market garden and orchards in Fulham Fields for use as a cemetery. The plot was laid out by a local architect who also designed modest lodges and two chapels in the Gothic style. Officially opened on 25 November 1869, the cemetery was intended for 12,000 interments but eventually, after being expanded its current size, had to find space for more than 83,000. The cemetery was damaged in three bombing raids during the Second World War and in 1951, the then Hammersmith Council, concerned at its dilapidated appearance, decided to remodel it as a garden of rest. Many memorials and headstones were removed or buried, a dilapidated chapel was demolished and the cleared land was laid to grass. The clear-up operation was completed in 1965. The site now forms part of the Barons Court Conservation area, designated in April 1989.
Habitat[edit | edit source]
The site consists of flower-rich grassland with tombstones and trees. There are more than 300 trees of various species. A plan of the layout of the park can be downloaded here.
Species[edit | edit source]
Margravine Cemetery’s birds are on the whole fairly typical of urban parks, but the cemetery also provides an excellent viewpoint for for observing Peregrine on the roof of Charing Cross Hospital. The following species have been recorded on the LondonBirders website during 2009: Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Grey Heron, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Peregrine, Woodpigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet, Swift, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallow, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.
- Feb 2013: 5 Robin, 5 Crow, 21 Blackbird, 26 Woodpigeon, 23 Feral Pigeon, 13 Blue Tit, 2 Goldcrest, 6 Great Tit, 3 Long-Tailed Tit, 1 Ring-necked Parakeet heard, 16+ Goldfinch, 2 Mistle Thrush, 6 Starling, 2 Dunnock, 1 Magpie, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Jay, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker
Practicalities[edit | edit source]
The cemetery is in London W6, with entrances in Margravine Gardens (near Barons Court Underground station), Margravine Road (behind Charing Cross Hospital) and Field Road. From Barons Court station (District and Piccadilly lines) head west along Margravine Gardens and look for the cemetery entrance on the left after a few yards. From Charing Cross Hospital, which can be reached by buses 190, 211, 220 and 295, walk down St Dunstans Road (about 5 minutes). The cemetery has an active Friends Group with a dedicated website.
The cemetery opens daily at 9am Monday to Saturday and 10am on Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day. It closes at the following times: January, 4pm; February, 5pm; March, 6pm; April, 7pm; May to August, 8pm; September, 7pm; October, 5pm; November and December, 4pm (except Christmas Day 3pm). Vehicles are not allowed in the cemetery. There is good wheelchair access on surfaced footpaths.
There are no facilities within the park.
This page has been prepared from various internet sources by Andrew Haynes, who has never visited Margravine Cemetery but thinks that it deserves a page on this website. If you are familiar with the site, please correct, expand and/or update this information. Please!