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Tower Hamlets Cemetery
Also known as: Bow Cemetery, The City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery, Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park
Southern Grove
Tower Hamlets
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Greater London  England
Postal Code: E3 4PX

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Cemetery notes and/or description:
Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (known locally as Bow Cemetery) is a closed, historic cemetery in London's East End. Located in the parishes of St Dunstan's Stepney and St Leonard, Bromley-by-Bow, the cemetery's 27 acres were divided into consecrated land for Anglican burials and unconsecrated for other denominations. It was opened in 1841 and closed for burials in 1966 having become one of London's "Magnificent Seven". This was the most working class of London's Victorian Cemeteries and in its first two years, more than half of the interments were in public graves, those of people who could not afford a plot and funeral. The Burial Records are in the London Metropolitan Archives at 40 Northampton Road London EC1R OHB. Ownership passed to the Greater London Council who took it over as a public park. With abolition of the GLC, it passed to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in 1986, and in 1990, The Friends of the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park was set up. The Friends are a group of locals who came together because they were concerned over the increasing neglect by successive owners. Their main objectives are to encourage greater use of this inner urban green space as a sanctuary for people and a place of biodiversity. The ‘Friends are also active in increasing the knowledge of its wildlife and its history, led by the East London History Society. They manage the Cemetery Park via a Service Level Agreement with LBTH Parks and are responsible for the daily maintenance and litter duties for the Park, much of this work is carried out by volunteers through practical conservation events. It became Tower Hamlets first Local Nature Reserve in 2001. Near-by land was added in the mid-nineties, known as "Scrapyard Meadow" and Ackroyd Drive Green Link. In 1993 the Soanes Centre, within the Park, opened offering programmes of education in the natural environment based on the ponds and the flower rich woodlands and meadows in the park. Today it is 33 acres of "managed" mature, broadleaved woodland and meadow. It contains war graves of both world wars. During the 1939-1945 War the cemetery suffered severely from enemy air attacks directed on the City of London, the two chapels and many of the memorials having been damaged or destroyed. All the 279 Commonwealth war casualties buried in this cemetery are recorded on bronze panels affixed to a screen wall. In addition there are 4 Dutch Merchant seamen named there. The war graves are no longer maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and all the familiar white Commission Headstones have been removed. (Text by Geoffrey Gillon-some material used with permission of Tower Hamlets Council)
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Tower Hamlets Cemetery
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