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The London Burial Grounds,
Mrs Basil Holmes, London 1897
A useful and surprisingly lively account of Isabella Holmes' attempts to search out and list all of the burial grounds in London, encountering mystified workmen, suspicious householders and savage guard dogs on the way.  The appendix of this book provides the starting point for this website. Mrs Holmes's avowed purpose was to preserve as many burial grounds as possible as open spaces. One sometimes suspects that the fun of the chase was a stronger motive. Now reprinted.

Graveyard London: Lost and Forgotten Burial Grounds,
Robert Bard.   Historical Publications Ltd 2008.
A thoroughly researched  twenty-first century version of Mrs Holmes book - a worthy successor. Excellent in every way and strongly recommended. 

Gatherings from Graveyards,
G. A. Walker London 1839
Not lively at all, but invaluable for its gruesomely detailed eye-witness accounts of forty-odd of the most overcrowded grounds. Walker was a London surgeon, and subscriber to the 'miasmic' theory of contagion; his account of the history of burials is rambling and rather tedious. 

Burial ground incendiarism. The last fire at the bone-house. Spa Fields Golgotha, or, the minute anatomy of grave-digging in London.   GA Walker 1842.
Walker would never win prizes for snappy titles, and his style in this pamphlet is as ponderous as its title, but its descriptions of the horrible goings-on at Spa fields is neverless gripping. Available as a download from Google books.

Report on the practice of Interments in Towns, Edwin Chadwick 1842
Along with Rocque, Mrs Holmes' starting point. Much fascinating detail on funeral customs in poor families and the evils of extended delays before funerals took place, overcrowding, insurance frauds (babies murdered for the funeral club money, etc.). Not light reading. 

London. Ed. Charles Knight. 6 Vols, 1841. Chapter on London Burials in vol. 4. Relies heavily on Walker, though with additional material. 

A Dictionary of London. Henry H. Harbin, 1918. Available on-line from  or on a CD from MOTCO (

Wates Book of London Churchyards. 
Harvey Hackman Collins 1981. Pleasantly written in a rather dated style. Some useful historical background, but Hackman's coverage is limited to the City and West End, with a brief excursion out to Kensington and Chelsea. He does not penetrate as far north as St Lukes, or East of the City. He is unwilling to go south of the river - perhaps Harvey Hackman was a cabbie by trade. 

London Cemeteries. Hugh Meller.
The standard modern work on the subject, detailed and authoritative.  Now thankfully reprinted (2008) by The History Press

Greater London Cemeteries and Crematoria, by Patricia Wolfston, revised by Cliff Webb.  Published by, and available from, the Society of Genealogists, ( )
Very useful and inexpensive resource giving details of holders of burial records for London Cemeteries.

London Photographic Atlas
(Collins) Aerial photographs of London. Now largely superseded by on-line resources such as Google Earth. 

Vanished Churches of the City of London, G Huelin  Guildhall Library 1996

Parish Churches of London, Basil F. Clarke Batsford 1966

A Guide to London's Churches Mervyn Blatch  Constable 1995

A Survey of London, John Stow 1603 

An Accurate Edition of Stow's Survey of London John Strype 1720

London in the Nineteenth Century, Illustrated views by Thomas Shepherd, 1829

London Past and Present; It's History, Associations and Traditions. Henry B Wheatley London.   

Sanitary Ramblings, Being Sketches and Illustrations of Bethnal Green,  Hector Gavin, 1848.  Only a Victorian could go on a sanitary ramble. Turned out to be pretty unsanitary; vivid description of poverty in Bethnal Green. 

Death, Dissection and Disease, Ruth Richardson, Phoenix Press 1988. Good on 'resurrectionists' and the 1832 anatomy act. 

London Bodies, Compiled Alex Werner.  Museum of London 1998

The Cross Bones Burial Ground, Redcross Way, Southwark Molas, (Museum of London Archaeological Service) 1999

Southwark's Burying Places, Ron Woollacott. A detailed and authoritative update of Holmes. Published by the Author. Out of Print. 

The Victorian Catacombs at Nunhead. Ron Woollacott. Excellent booklet, produced by the author. Available from 185 Gordon Rd LONDON SE15 3RT. 

The Changing Face of Death - Historical accounts of death and disposal, Ed. Jupp and Howarth. 1997. Fascinating essays on death and the disposal of the dead from Early 17th century aristocrats to Elvis Presley. Includes chapters on  Enon Chapel, the 'Green Ground' in Portugal Street, and on the beginnings of the cemetery movement. 

The Dead and the Living in Paris and London, 1500 - 1670. Vanessa Harding. Cambridge 2003. The historical, social and religious background to burial in early modern London and Paris. Authoritative, rigorous, but very readable. 

An Encyclopaedia of London  William Kent  Dent Rev. 1951

The London Encyclopaedia Weinreb and Hibbert Macmillan 1983

The London Compendium Ed Glinert. Very good on the twentieth century, particularly on its low life; weaker on early history, which seems simply to be rather unimaginatively and inaccurately assembled  from other reference books: Samuel Pepys is not buried in St Brides, (his brother was)  Keats was not buried in St Stephen Coleman Street (though his family was) and St Martin Orgar has travelled up the Central line to Ongar. These are just a few of the errors spotted. 

Journal of the Plague Year - Daniel Defoe 1722


Ordnance Survey Maps from around 1869 onwards. Reproductions published by Alan Godfrey Maps; see links for the address of their website. 

Horwood's map of London, 1799 - 1812
(London Topographical Society Edition)

Roque's Plan of London, 1740
(London Topographical Society Edition)

Ogilvy and Morgan's City of London map of 1676
(London Topographical Society edition)

Various ward maps, parish maps, etc.

Greenwood's plan of 1827.
Smaller scale, but useful outside the City itself.