Additional ground, Bowling Green Lane
On the corner of Bowling Green Lane and Clerkenwell Close. The
school is now closed
(See Holmes below) but is still
standing and in use for for small businesses and workshops. The burial ground/playground now in use as a car park.
Update September 2007. The ground is surrounded by high boards bearing
'deep excavation' notices, so it sounds as if the ground is being
Also called St. James's middle ground. This was leased by the parish, with the adjoining “Cherry
Tree” public-house, in 1775 for 99 years. It is ¼ acre in size,
situated at the corner of Rosoman Street and Bowling Green Lane. The
London School Board secured it when the lease ran out, and it is now the
playground of the Bowling Green Lane School.
View in 2004
View in 2007
St James additional ground,
Now Joseph Grimaldi Park: Grimaldi the clown was buried here in 1837. The ground was nearly
lost to development in the 1990s, but the facade of the chapel still
exists, as the frontage of a new office block called Onyx house.
Grimaldi's tomb is well cared for and the ground is a pleasant garden.
The park extends to the north, but this is post-war clearance, not
This was formed
as an additional ground for the parish of St. James, Clerkenwell. It is
nearly an acre in extent, full of tombstones and very untidy, but the
Metropolitan Public Gardens Association has undertaken to convert it
into a public garden. (Holmes)
JAMES'S BURYING GROUND, Clerkenwell. -This is a very extensive
ground, and many of the lower Irish are buried here; the place appears
excessively crowded. The mortality among children in this neighbourhood,
within the last two months, has been very great. This will not occasion
surprise when the locality of the burying ground, and the filth and
wretchedness of the major part of the inhabitants are duly considered.
View of 1896
St. John's Churchyard.
2007 Little changed from
Holmes' description below..
What exists of this is between
the church and St. John Street, a narrow strip, about 320 square yards
in extent, closed and paved with tiles and tombstones. Its laying-out by
the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association is in hand.
Crypt of St John's during
Holborn for St John’s Burial Ground in Benjamin Street.
Spa Fields Burial-ground,
fields chapel (Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion). This
was one of the most appalling grounds in
London, with a rapid recycling of grave space and a lot of suspicious burning
going on. In the 50 pages of Burial Ground Incendiarism. The
Last Fire at the Bone-House at the Spa-Fields
(1846) Walker described the burning of coffins and body parts, the
gruesome charges of witnesses to the recycling that allowed 1,500 bodies
a year to go into an area of 2 acres for 50 years.
In May 0f 1802 the gravedigger,
Joseph Naples, was indicted at Clerkenwell sessions for body snatching.
Unfortunately for him, he met up with a Bow Street runner one evening,
who became suspicious of the large load on Naples's shoulders. When
challenged, Naples ran off. The load turned out to be the recently
buried bodies of a woman and child.
It emerged that Naples had been involved in supplying the
local hospitals with up to three bodies a day during the winter season,
using a basket the hospitals had helpfully provided. He
would also supply just the head of anyone who had died of something
particularly interesting. He once offered the local undertaker a range
of shrouds, caps, pillows etc., which he claimed were little worse for
wear. He refused to buy them. When Naples’s privy was drained, it
was found to be full of shrouds. (Report
in The Morning Post and
Gazetteer, May 3rd 1802)
Now used as tennis courts,
etc. The open space has been extended to the south.
Walker is slightly inaccurate: The chapel itself was built in 1770
as a place of amusement called The Pantheon, which failed. It was
reopened as an Anglican chapel, then purchased by The Countess of Huntingdon
who turned it into a nonconformist chapel around
1777. Replaced c.1887 by an Italian Renaissance style church, The Church
of our Most Holy Redeeemer, which
still stands. A high Anglican church, it claims to be the only Anglican
church with a baldachino
altar in Britain. (It isn't: St Mary Woolnoth has one.) Lady Huntingdon would not be pleased.
tea-garden, afterwards a burial-ground, managed by a private individual.
It is the property of the Marquis of Northampton, is about 1¾ acres in extent, and in the
evenings is occasionally used as a volunteer drill-ground. In 1885 the
Metropolitan Public Gardens Association laid it out as a playground, and
the London County Council maintains it.
FIELDS.- This ground was originally taken for a tea garden; the
speculation failed, and a chapel was built upon it, in which some
ministers of the Church of England preached. The Bishop refused to
consecrate it, and it was ultimately bought by Lady Huntingdon; she
inducted one of her Chaplains, and it is now much frequented. The
burying ground is very large, but absolutely saturated with dead.
This place offers a difficult problem for solution; no
undertaker can explain it, excepting by a shrug of the
shoulders. I can affirm, from
frequent personal observation, that enormous numbers of dead have been
The view today, looking
towards the church.
Houses west side of St. James’s
Walk cover the site (Holmes)
Corporation Row Burial-pit
The dwellings mentioned by Holmes
are gone - North of
Corporation Row is now open ground used as a children's adventure
playground called the Three Corners Play and Youth project.
(Replaced by) Artisans' dwellings on north side. (Holmes)
John's Square, &c. cover the
St. James's Additional Ground, Ray Street
Lost to Farringdon Rd and the
Metropolitan Railway on the construction of the railway.
It formerly was occupied by a butcher, named Rope, who had his
slaughter house and stable at the back, and immediately adjoining the
burial ground. About fifteen years ago, during the residence of this
man, it was discovered that several bodies had been exhumed and placed
in the stable, close to the slaughter-house; the inhabitants of the
vicinity were powerfully excited, and the man, who had for many years
carried on an extensive business, was deservedly ruined, and driven in
disgrace from the neighbourhood.
Possible vault - St
Mark's, Myddleton Square (Built 1825-27)
here for a note on church and vault burials.