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City of London Cemetery and Crematorium
All Saints' Churchyard 16k
City of London Cemetery and Crematorium  
In 1849, William Haywood, Surveyor and Engineer to the City of London Commissioners of Sewers, reported to the Commissioners that there were 88 churchyards within the square mile of the City of London, and many were in a terrible, overcrowded condition. The pressure for a new cemetery was increased following the closure of City churchyards in the early 1850s, and in 1853 the Commissioners began looking for suitable land.

In 1854 the City of London Commissioners purchased 200 acres of Aldersbrook Farm lands for 30,721 to create the new cemetery from the owner, Lord Wellesley, a relative of the Duke of Wellington.

Aldersbrook was first listed as a separate manor in the early 16th century. By 1517 it was the home of John Heron, Treasurer of Chamber to Henry VII and VIII. In the 1770s Aldersbrook was the largest estate in the area; in 1786 it was purchased by Sir James Long of Wanstead who demolished the manor house and farmed the land.

The new cemetery was laid out by William Haywood in 1855 and was opened in 1856, the first burial taking place in that year on the 24th June. A special railway siding and station had been planned but this was not built due to lack of finances. It is among the largest municipal cemeteries in Europe and is second largest in London after the huge St Pancras and Islington Cemeteries. It has been described as William Haywood's 'masterpiece' and 'the finest example of a Victorian cemetery. Haywood had worked with Joseph Bazalgette on the Abbey Mills pumping station, 'the cathedral of sewage' which still stands adjacent to The Greenway further to the south in Newham. Haywood's layout for the cemetery included the extensive network of curving paths and avenues which now comprise 7 miles of roads; two Gothic chapels; Catacomb Valley formed by draining the lake, a former fishpond, with the catacombs built into the lakeside banks. The grand entrance retains its original ornamental iron gates flanked by porter's lodge and superintendent's house.

A number of enclosures were formed to contain the reburiedremains from old City churchyards which were closed and cleared when the City was rebuilt in Victorian times. There are also reburials from churches destroyed as a result of bombing in World War II. In 1903 one of the first Crematoria to be built in this country was erected here, designed by engineer D J Ross. Its 80 ft chimney is hidden beneath a Gothic framework. In 1973 a second Crematorium, with two chapels and six cremators able to deal with 40 funerals a day, was built and opened by the Lord Mayor. Over half a million people have to date been buried or cremated here including William Haywood himself (d. 1894). Others buried here include George Micklewright (d.1876), a 19th century conservationist instrumental in saving Epping Forest; Elizabeth Everest (d.1895), nanny to Winston Churchill; two Lord Mayors of London; and George Binks, the inventor of wire ropes.

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