London Cemeteries - The Magnificent Seven


'The Magnificent Seven' London cemeteries were built to relieve the curden placed upon the city's myriad small parish churchyards, which had become dangerously overcrowded after hundreds of years of burials. In the first half of the nineteenth century the population of London more than doubled from 1 million to 2.3 million and its graveyards had become a serious health hazard with visible body parts and decaying matter flushed directly into the sewer system and Thames. Seven new "great gardens of sleep' were built  by order of Parliament as private enterprises in the then suburbs at:

Kensal Green (1832)
West Norwood (1837)
Highgate (1839)
Abney Park (1840)
Nunhead (1840)
Brompton (1840)
Tower Hamlets (1841)

These cemetries remain today as beautiful Gothic garden lungs in the city - often underused and under appreciated.  All have active voluntary groups dedicated to their conservation. The first London Month of the Dead was held in 2014 in Brompton and Kensal Green cemetery chapels.  Our aim with every and Month of the Dead is to help raising awareness of the cemeteries themselves and also to help fundraise to protect and restore these extraordinary historical places for Londoners.