London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Greater London England
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Old Barnes Cemetery is a Ecology and Conservation Area
The only graves that are maintained are the graves of Veterans.
The cemetery was established in 1854 on two acres of sandy ground purchased by the Church of England for the sum of £10. A chapel, lodge and landscaping were provided at a further cost of £1,400. The cemetery functioned as an additional burial ground to the local parish churchyard.
It was well-used and a number of distinguished Victorians were buried there, with a variety of monuments and statues erected to their memory. At the centre of the cemetery is a large memorial to the Hedgman family, who were local benefactors in Barnes. The cemetery was claimed to be haunted by a ghostly nun that would hover over the grave of Julia Martha Thomas, the victim of an infamous murder in 1879.
In 1966 the cemetery was acquired by the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames with the intention of turning it into a lawn cemetery, a grass-covered area where each grave is marked with a commemorative plaque rather than standing memorials. The council demolished the chapel and lodge and removed the boundary railings to prepare the cemetery for its new role. However, it then dropped the plans and effectively abandoned the cemetery.
The cemetery contains the ashes of Jeanette Pickersgill (died March 20, 1885), poetess and the wife of the artist Henry William Pickersgill .She was the first person to be legally cremated in the United Kingdom at Woking Crematorium in Woking, Surrey.