Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations

Church Road Cemetery

Home > London > Churches | Walks
by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published December 31st 2012
Come see the sleeping town's people


The other day I went for a wander around my area, and realised that although I live about a fifteen minute walk away, I had never visited my local churchyard. I've been past it hundreds of times, but have never bothered to walk the grounds. I guess I never had any reason to.

Out of curiosity, I walked up to the gates, where it said the cemetery was the location of the Commonwealth War Graves. But although I looked at many of the graves, none of them fit in with the dates of the war, so I don't know if I was looking in the wrong area or what.

church road churchyard, cemetery
Many of the graves are in poor condition


Sadly, the graves I did see at Church Road Cemetery were in poor condition: littered with rubbish, sunken into the ground, and most were unreadable from weathering. Despite the council having recently finished a five-year redesign of Mitcham Parish Church, the churchyard seemed to have been forgotten.

Covering 6.7 acres of land, the cemetery was opened in 1559, with records on file dating from 1883. While I was reading some of the names, I saw a doubled gravesite belonging to a married couple called William and Rosetta. They had the same surname as my dad's best friend, so I wonder if they were any relation. Probably not, but it is always fun to speculate.

church road churchyard, cemetery
Lucy Laker is just 'sleeping'.


When it came to the tombstones I could read, many of the engravings used euphemisms; the one I remember most clearly said 'I have been sleeping here since 1950'. All I can say is, she must be well rested.

church road churchyard, cemetery, merton parish church
Merton Parish Church


As I walked on, I could hear singing from Mitcham Parish Church. It was built between 1819-1822 by John Chart, a local Master Builder. The church was designed in a Gothic style by the architect, George Smith, but some of the monuments like the base of the tower are Medieval and date to around 1250 CE. They are the remains of earlier churches.



When you get to the church's main entrance, you can see the redesign that has taken place; they have laid down new pathing slabs, and made an easy access slope for wheelchair users. As commendable as this is, after five years, I would have expected something more.
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  32
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? Place for a stroll
When: Anytime
Phone: 020 8545 3666
Where: Mitcham Parish Chruch
Cost: Free
Your Comment
It isn't necessary to cross continents, as you found exploring can start at home :)
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|11075) 2172 days ago
More London articles
Articles from other cities
Top Events
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions