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St George's in the East
Key:     Current observations and notes    
Holmes notes of 1897     Other sources         maps

St. George's Churchyard.

Maintained as an open space, with clumps of gravestones around the edge. Tidy enough, though 'beautifully maintained' overstates it these days. Contains a derelict brick building, probably the old mortuary. 
The area to the north of the church is splendidly jungly, and presumably has been left as a nature reserve. 
The church was gutted during the war - the new church was built inside the shell of the old one. 

from about 1730. The wall between this ground and the next one was taken down in 1875, and the two grounds were laid out as a public garden. They are maintained by the vestry, and, although in a densely crowded district, are beautifully kept. The size of the whole garden, consisting of the two graveyards, is about 3 acres. (Holmes 1897)
ST. GEORGE'S CHURCH, Cannon Street, East. -This is the parish church. The burial ground, which adjoins the church, is excessively crowded; many of the tomb-stones have sunk into the ground. There are public and private vaults; the former underneath the steps and entrance, the latter under the body of the church. The public vaults are greatly crowded, and in a loathsome state.
(Walker 1839)

The jungle.

The changing ethnic makeup of an East End parish - Muslim boys relaxing at lunchtime. 

Front of the church - tombs jostled by cars.

St. George's Wesleyan Chapel ground, Cable Street.
As described below, though it has been extended north to cover an area bombed during the war. 
This forms one garden with the above.
(Holmes 1897)

New Road Congregational Chapel yard, Cannon Street Road, 
Now a large grassy area, with goalposts, behind Norton house on the Bigland estate. 

Between Lower and Upper Chapman Streets.- This was a much-used burial-ground, part of which has been covered with sheds and houses. What is left is about ⅓  acre in extent. The chapel was bought in 1831, and became Trinity Episcopal Chapel, and was subsequently removed and its site used for the new building of Raine's School. The burial-ground is in three parts, viz., the playground of the school, a cooper's yard, belonging to Messrs. Hasted and Sons, and a carter's yard of Messrs. Seaward Brothers. (Holmes 1897)
TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHAPEL, Cannon Street Road . - The burying ground at the back of this chapel is large, and very much crowded. The fees are low; many of the Irish are buried here, and bodies are brought from very distant parishes; many of the grave stones have given way.
There is a schoolroom for children at one end of the ground, built over a shed, in which are deposited pieces of broken-up coffin wood, tools, &c.
(Walker 1839)

Danish Burial-ground, Wellclose Square.
Very much as described by Holmes below - the playground and garden of St Paul's Primary School.  New school building has been extended over the graveyard. 
Wellclose square as such has gone, but its layout can still be traced around the school.
Burial place of 
architect and sculptor Caius Gabriel Cibber (1630-1700) and his wife, parents of  poet laureate Colley Cibber. They were buried in a vault beneath this church which was pulled down in 1869, when their coffins were removed into the crypt and there bricked up. What has happened to them since is unknown.

The Danish (or Mariners') Church has been supplanted by the Schools of St. Paul's, London Docks, and the whole of the garden is neatly laid out, and used as a private ground for the people who look after the schools, the crèche, &c. There are no tombstones now, and it is possible that only an enclosure round the church was used, like the railed-in enclosure in Prince's Square.
(Holmes 1897)

MARINER'S CHURCH, Well Close Square. - This was formerly used as a Danish place of worship, but has since been purchased by the Rev. Smith, of Penzance. There is a burial ground adjoining the church, and a vault underneath it; but this is now never used. The ground is very full; many foreigners have been inhumed here. (Walker 1839)

Swedish Burial-ground, Prince's Square.
A rather scruffy grassy area, marked with a font-like memorial from Sweden. No tombstones.  The church was demolished in 1908. The surrounding area is a mix of open space and low and medium rise housing with no suggestion of the layout of the original square. Burial place of Emmanuel Swedenborg (d 1772), who was exhumed on the closure of the church and returned to Sweden - apart, apparently, from his skull, which was pinched by a sailor. 

Round the Eleanora Church, over ½ acre in size. It is very neatly laid out and well kept, and contains many tombstones.

ELENORA, SWEDISH PROTESTANT CHURCH, in Princes Square. -  The ground was given to Charles the XlIth of Sweden, and the church was built by his sister, Eleanora, after whom it is named. The burial ground is full; interment in it is discontinued. The grave digger, an old Swede, narrowly escaped with his life, on two occasions, from the falling in of the ground. There is a vault underneath the church, which is never opened, unless for burial; the entrance is secured by a very heavy stone slab,
which, after every funeral, is securely cemented down.
(Walker 1839)

The ground is behind the brick wall.

Ebenezer Chapel Burial-ground, St. George's Street.
Now not dangerous looking at all - an innocuous strip of grass and a footpath, next to the swimming pool in The Highway. Marked on OS of 1870. 

This was described in 1839 as being very much overcrowded. The chapel has been used as a school, but is now deserted, the small yard on the south side of it is used as a timber yard and closed, About 220 square yards.
(Holmes 1897)
EBENEZER CHAPEL, Ratcliff Highway .- The burying ground is very small, but overcharged with dead; it is considered dangerous to open a grave; the neighbourhood is very populous. This is a private ground.
(Walker 1839)

Congregational Chapel-ground, Old Gravel Lane.  

Old Gravel Lane is now Wapping Lane. The chapel was at the junction of Old Gravel Lane and Love Lane, this part of which is now Watts Street. The site is now under a row of shops with apartments above, approximately where the butcher's shop with the red awning and the  launderette next door are now.

Closed, bare and untidy, with two gravestones against the wall. (Holmes)

Congregational chapel Old Gravel Lane - Rocque

Baptist Burial-ground, Broad Street, (Reardon Street) Wapping. 

Established as an independent chapel on
Sep. 12,1633
. Broad Street is now Reardon Street, Johnson Street is now Chandler Street, Love Lane now Meeting House Lane.  There seems to be an obsession with street name changes in this part of London. Not built over on 1872 O.S. A school was built on the site, but this has now closed and the building used for other purposes. The small yard to the south might be the site of the burial ground, or it could be under the school buildings. 
Mentioned by Maitland in 1756, and shown on Rocque’s plan. The chapel has gone, but part of the adjoining yard belonging to a milkman. Before he bought it it was the parish stone-yard. It is about 200 square yards in size. I have little doubt that is a burial ground. (Holmes)

Baptist Chapel, Broad Street - Rocque

Old school on the corner of Chandler St.

Yard to the south

Roman Catholic Burial-ground, Commercial Road
South of St Mary and St Michael church. Opened 1851, and so not in use for long; nevertheless, over 1000 burials here. 
2006 - This ground is the subject of considerable legal controversy. The land is intended for new school building and as of March 06 700 bodies have been exhumed, with a further 300 to be removed soon. Ownership of the land is contested between the diocese and the parish. Work began in September 2005; The then parish priest stood in the way of the bulldozers and was arrested. 

  On my visit in July 2006 the work was continuing, with large screens around the area to screen the grisly work of exhumation from prying eyes (and my camera.) 

The tombstones are flat and the ground is used as a private garden for the priests. It is about ½ acre in extent. (Holmes)

2006 view - a building site

August 2006 - under wraps

Lost grounds

Junction of Cannon St. and Cable Street.
Cannon Street is now, for some strange reason, Cannon Street Road.  Burial place of John Williams, alias Murphy, who committed suicide after being accused on flimsy evidence of the Ratcliffe Highway murders of 1811. He was buried here with a stake through his heart. In August 1886 his skeleton  (complete with stake) was discovered during the excavation of a trench by a gas company. It was 6 feet below the surface of the road. 

2006 and, guess what! They're digging up the road again. Who are they burying this time?


Mulberry Gardens Chapel, Pell Street (Vault only)
Well Street referred to by Walker below, is now Ensign Street, not in St George's parish. Mulberry Gardens Chapel (Lady Huntingdon's Connexion)  was in nearby Pell Street, which was in the parish and was open c. 1784 - 1837. It is shown on Horwood. This is presumably the one Walker is describing. The whole area of Pell street is now a grassy open space between St Paul's school and the site of the Swedish church.

MULBERRY CHAPEL, Well Street, St. George's in the East.- There are three vaults belonging to this chapel, one underneath the chapel, one underneath the school connected with it, and one underneath the alms-houses. They are all very full of bodies, particularly the two latter; a great many of the coffins are in a very decayed state; the smell from them is very offensive; the neighbourhood is densely inhabited.

(Walker 1839)