Margravine Cemetery has had a tumultuous history, so it’s unsurprising that in 1951 it was declared a ‘Garden of Rest’. It opened in 1868, by which time problems with overcrowding in London cemeteries were well established. Furthermore cholera was a serious issue, which made the creation of a new cemetery very necessary despite disagreements over funding. There were more complaints when the land was split unequally between Anglican and non-conformists (favouring the former), but an extension solved the problem. One Christmas Day the superintendent’s wife got drunk and aimed a bad-tempered tirade at visitors; on another occasion gravediggers got into a fight with their superiors over wages. Heavy bombing during World War II destroyed a chapel, but one gothic chapel and two lodges remain. Today it’s one of Hammersmith’s main parks, providing locals with a space that combines grass, trees, and of course tombstones.
Places to find some peace in London
The Margravine Cemetery has everything that a wandering Londoner could want. Think gravestones for that sense of perspective, birdsong for the lifting of spirits and most of all a peaceful habitat that can be enjoyed alone. A ‘place of rest’ since 1951, the Margravine Cemetery now encourages people to join in with the regular bird counts, hedge planting, squirrel spotting and nature talks. This idyllic, leafy oasis couldn’t seem further from Hammersmith.