London – Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park
About This Cemetery
The Cemetery Park is a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) and conservation area in the heart of East London, managed by the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park on behalf of the Council. The cemetery forms part of the Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation and is one of London’s Magnificent Seven Victorian cemeteries.
Most of the Cemetery Park is woodland which has been greatly diversified over time, with a gradual reduction of sycamore, new tree planting, and the development of a rich groundcover of grasses, bulbs and wildflowers. About a third of the Cemetery Park is grassland, much of it flower rich meadow. The meadows are mostly cut annually in autumn each year, some areas are cut twice, others not at all (to help overwintering insects). The areas change year by year. There are also five wildlife ponds.
The underlying soil type is gravel: in some places this is present at the surface and in others it has a clay layer on top leading to damp conditions. In some areas the original cemetery company raised ground levels significantly to accommodate more burials, bringing in soil from other sites which affects the plant species found.
There are 370,000 people buried at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and thousands of headstones and monuments are scattered across the site, although some have weathered and decayed through past neglect of the site after the de-consecration and closure of the cemetery in 1966. Amongst the trees you’ll find all sorts of interesting people from music hall singers and matchgirls to socialist reformers
- Wildflower areas
- Wildlife haven
- Memorials with famous or infamous connections
- Stones with stories
- Fascinating monuments
- Great for fungi
- Birders paradise
- Lichen haven
- Peaceful space for quiet reflection
- Good accessibility
Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Southern Grove, London E3 4PX
The public are welcome to enjoy the Cemetery Park 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Please note that the main double gates on Southern Grove are open from dawn to dusk daily. All other gates are open 24h.
Gereral info: firstname.lastname@example.org
For heritage information: Claire Slack – email@example.com
All the main paths are surfaced and provide excellent disabled and pushchair access all year round.
Seating is available around the main paths toward the edges of the cemetery park.
Parking & transport
Mile End underground station is a 9 min walk away from the main gates or Bow Road underground station is an 8 minute walk to the opposite side of the cemetery park. There are regular buses to Mile End Road.
There is no parking on site.
There a number of food outlets on Burdette Road a 6 min walk from the cemetery park.