Kensal Green Cemetery In-depth

Kensal Green Cemetery, located in Kensal Green, London, England, was incorporated in 1832 by The General Cemetery Company, and is the oldest of the 'Magnificent Seven' cemeteries still in operation. It is the only such cemetery established by an act of the British Parliament with a mandate that its bodies may not be exhumed and cremated or the land sold for development. Once the cemetery has exhausted all its interment space and can no longer function as a cemetery the mandate requires that it remains a memorial park. The General Cemetery Company constructed and runs the West London Crematorium within the grounds of Kensal Green Cemetery. More cremations than earth interments take place these days.
Whilst borrowing from the ideals established at Père Lachaise in Paris some years before, the Kensal Green Cemetery project was used as a design and management basis for many cemetery projects throughout the British Empire of the time. In Australia for example The Necropolis at Rookwood 1868 and Picturesque Waverley Cemetery 1877 both in Sydney are noted for their use of the "Gardenesque" landscape qualities and importantly self sustaining management structures championed by The General Cemetery Company.
The cemetery is the burial site of approximately 250,000 individuals in 65,000 graves, including upwards of 500 members of the British nobility and 550 people listed in the Dictionary of National Biography. A garden style cemetery, Kensal Green is the oldest of seven private Victorian cemeteries located in the outskirts of London. Adjacent to Kensal Green is St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery.
Interred at Kensal Green is Marigold Frances Churchill, the daughter of Sir Winston Churchill and Lady Clementine who died from a fever in 1921 at age three. Also interred are two children of King George III of the United Kingdom, who desired to be buried at Kensal Green instead of Windsor Castle: Princess Sophia and her brother, Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex.
Some of the other notables interred here are:
Henry Ainley (1879-1945), actor
Thomas Allom, artist and architect
Charles Babbage (1791-1871), mathematician, computer scientist
James Barry (1795–1865), surgeon
George Birkbeck, doctor, academic and adult education pioneer
Charles Blondin, acrobat, tightrope-walker
John Braham, (1774-1856), singer
Louis de la Bourdonnais, chess master
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, engineer
Marc Isambard Brunel, engineer
John Edward Carew, sculptor
Sir Ernest Cassel, merchant banker
Wilkie Collins, author
Hugh Falconer, naturalist
Thomas Hood, poet, humourist, journalist
Philip Hardwick (1792-1870), architect
Philip Charles Hardwick (1822-1892), architect
Catherine Hayes (1818-1861), opera singer
Fanny Kemble, actor, poet
William Garrett Lewis, (died in 1885) pastor of Westbourne Grove Church
John Graham Lough (1798 - 1876) , sculptor
Alexander McDonnell, chess master
Kitty Melrose, actress
Freddie Mercury (1946-1991), singer (cremated here; location of ashes undisclosed)
Ras Andargachew Messai (1902-1981), Ethiopian ruler
John Lothrop Motley (1814-1877), American historian
Robert Owen (memorial) (1771-1858), industrialist and major social reformer
John Shaw Jr, architect (1803-1870) Brother in law of Philip Hardwick listed above
Sir William Siemens (1823–1883), industrialist
Robert William Sievier (1794-1865), sculptor (also member of Cemetery board)
William Henry Smith, businessman
William Makepeace Thackeray, writer
Therese Tietjens, famous opera singer
Anthony Trollope, novelist
J. Stuart Russell (1816-1895), theologian and author
William Vincent Wallace (1812-1865), composer
John William Waterhouse (1849-1917), artist
George Bridgetower (1782-1860), West Indian-Polish violin virtuoso and friend of Beethoven

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