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Sign: London - St John’s Wood Church Grounds

Hanover House, St John’s Wood High St, St John’s Wood, London NW8 7DY, UK
Click here for a map that contains other items in the area

Click here for a map that contains other items in the area.
On the sign:
City of Westminster
Welcome to St. Johns Wood Church Grounds
The City of Westminster Parks are enjoyed by thousands of visitors all year round. This site on of over a hundred green spaces in the City, which is managed by the Parks Service.
Westminster’s Parks, Gardens and Open Spaces have over the years been consistent award winners in.competitions such as the London Garden Squares Competition organised by The London Garden Squares Society and Green Flag.

The park facilitates are open to use by all and we hope you enjoy your visit.
Whilst enjoying this park please respect other people and remember:
[Warnings and Prohibitions]
If you would like any further information about the management of this site please contact the Parks Team: Call: 020 7641 2000 email:

The City Council has a positive attitude to ensuring compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and has carried out works to ensure equal access to all users of their Parks, Gardens and Open Spaces. If you require assistance or require any further information about our DDA policy please contact the Perks Team
For further information please visit

It is an offence to damage this sign St.

St. John’s Wood Burial Ground
The St.John’s Wood burial ground dates from 1807. By then the Paddington Street burial ground was full and more burial space was needed for the rapidly expanding local population. The St. Marylebone Vestry (the equivalent of the Council today) bought these six acres of land, known as Great Garden Field and Willow Tree Field, from Mr Walpole Eyre and the Duke of Portland. By 1814 both the burial ground and the church had been completed. The church, then only a chapel of ease to the parish church, was designed by Thomas Hardwick who went on to build the new parish church on Marylebone Road in 1817.

Both church and burial ground were consecrated by the Bishop of London on 24 May 1814, the arrangements for this ceremony being made by a vestryman called Thomas Lord. Mr Lord had established his cricket ground on its final site only a few months before this and he was able to use his pavilion to provide the refreshments for this occasion.

One of the main reasons for planning the burial ground here, was so that it should be some distance away from the residential part of the parish and for a few years it stood in the fields on its own. Park Road was constructed as a link between the parish church and the burial ground, again with the assistance of Thomas Lord, and eventually St John’s Wood began to be built.

The burial ground was used from 1814 to 1855 when the St. Marylebone cemetery was opened.

There are thought to be some 50,000 graves here. A transcription was made in 1962 of the tombstones which were still legible and this together with an index of the names, may be consulted in the Westminster City Archives.

Three of the graves are well known.
1. John Sell Cotman, watercolour painter, (1782-1842).
This stone is on the west side of the burial ground and is marked
2. Private Samuel Godley, (1781-1832), who fought at the battle of Waterloo. Close to Cotman’s grave.
3. Joanna Southcott, religious visionary (1750-1814).
There is a large marker stone well beyond these two graves beside the railings. This was erected in 1965. The grave itself is approximately 25 feet from this stone.

The burial ground remains consecrated ground. It is now owned by Westminster City Council and administered as a garden.
There are many species of tree evident in this garden, Including: Norway Maple (Acer platanoides); Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus); White Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippo-castanum); Beech (Fagus sylvatica); Common Ash (Faxinus excelsior): London Plane (Platanus x hispanica), Kanzan Chery (Prunus ’Kanzan’); Turkey Oak (Quercus cerris); English Oak (Quercus robus) and Whitebeam (Sorbus aria).

[Image: Marlybone Chapel (St. Wood Parish Church) seen across Regent’s Part. Watercolour by W. May, 1818]

[Image: John Sell Cotman by H. B. Love]
[The ground opening hours]
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The following picture enlarges the historical description of the garden Click for a larger image

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