King's Road Cemetery

Chelsea, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Greater London, England
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The land for the King's Road burial ground to serve Chelsea Parish Church of St Luke's (Chelsea Old Church) was originally given to the parish in 1733 by Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753). Sloane had purchased the former Chelsea Manor House (once owned by Henry VIII) in 1712 from William Lord Cheyne, but did not live there until 1742; he was responsible for development along the riverside from c.1717. The burial ground was consecrated in 1736 and later enlarged in 1790. It became known as the Old Burial Ground after provision for parish burials was supplemented in 1813 by the opening of a new burial ground, now the site of St Luke's Church and Gardens. Among those buried here were Italian painter and engraver Giovanni Battista Cipriani (d.1785), and botanist John Martyn (d.1768), best known for his 'Historia Plantarum Rariorum' (1728-37) and who practiced as a physician in Chelsea.

By the 1880s the King's Road burial ground was in a poor state; in 1882 a mortuary was constructed here and the remaining ground was laid out as a garden for the recreational use of the inmates of the adjoining workhouse, and fragments of an old chapel and graveyard were found. This represents an early example of the change of use from a burial ground to a garden.

After war damage in WWII, a scheme of 1947-50 developed the garden, with a small part opened to the public, at which time most of the gravestones were removed and the mortuary demolished. In 1977 it was renamed Dovehouse Green when it was re-landscaped for the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, at the instigation of the Chelsea Society, which was also celebrating its Golden Jubilee that year. The landscaping included cruciform paths, areas of grass but largely paved to King's Road; it contained an obelisk, some tombstones on the perimeter and seating

GPS Coordinates: 51.4876, -0.16936

  • Added: 30 Mar 2016
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2608232