|High St South|
London Borough of Newham
Greater London England
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
East Ham is a built-up district located 8 miles from the center of London. From 1894 it formed the East Ham Urban District of Essex and was incorporated as a borough in 1903. It became a unitary authority (county borough ) in 1915 and remained as such until 1965 when it was abolished and merged with the County Borough of West Ham to form the London Borough of Newham. The 12th century church of St. Mary Magdalene stands on an ancient site. There was a Roman cemetery close by, near what is now called Roman Road, which runs about a quarter of a mile to the South West. This cemetery was discovered in 1864, and Roman coffins from it are now in the British Museum. It is the oldest Norman church in London that is still in weekly use and has a churchyard of nearly 10 acres (one of the largest churchyards in Europe ) which is now managed as a nature reserve by the London Borough of Newham. The churchyard has 60 wargraves which are no longer maintained. A Pastoral Scheme leased the churchyard to the London Borough of Newham for a period of 125 years. The lease includes a covenant that the local authority will not remove or disturb, or permit the removal or disturbance of, any wargrave tombstone, monument or memorial in the churchyard. All the existing headstones remain in situ but the graves are not maintained. The official point of commemoration is the "alternative commemoration" memorial erected in 1997 near the High Street South boundary wall but a CWGC Inspector keeps an eye to ensure that the actual graves remain undisturbed.