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Manor Park Cemetery and Crematorium

Manor Park Cemetery -  The dead end of the East End

Manor Park Cemetery is one of the most popular resting places for an East London cockney when they leave their home for the last time to attend their own funeral. Most of my past family are there and I dare say I will see the inside of one of it's ovens when I'm due for the permanent loss of breath. Hopefully that will be a very long time in the future! Unfortunately, since writing this I lost my wife in February 2010 after a long battle with cancer, and she is now buried at Manor Park.
In the words of the people who own and run the estate:
“Manor Park Cemetery & Crematorium prides itself on traditional family values, the Company having been managed by the same family since its foundation. The grave of Mr. William Nesbitt, the very first interment that took place on 25th. March 1875, can still be found on the right hand side of Remembrance Road”.

Disappearing forests

Internment and cremation

The original land used to create the cemetery was part of Hamfrith Farm and was purchased in 1872 for that purpose. East and West Ham had been so intensively farmed that by the end of the 13th. century most of the woodland in the area had all but gone. Hamfrith Wood, the last to go, was removed in 1700. Today’s 50 acre site is made up from a mixture of woodlands, grassed areas, old and new memorials and headstones, lawn graves, gardens of remembrance, shrubs and walkways. It is, in my opinion, a very peaceful place for both the living and the departed.

The pleasantly laid out cemetery has been used by the East End communities since 1874 both for burials and cremated remains. There are open and secluded areas for private graves, a woodland burial site and a children's private garden for burial.
There are many famous people buried in Manor Park, including Annie Chapman, the second murder victim of the infamous Jack the Ripper. She was laid to rest there in 1888.
Another historic grave is that of John Travers Cornwall VC, who, at the age of 16 was the youngest recipient of the Victoria Cross and died from his wounds after saving many lives at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Many other famous people are buried there.

In the words of the proprietors

Welcome to the Manor Park Cemetery & Crematorium, peacefully situated close to the green belt of Wanstead Flats. Though well away from the hustle and bustle of suburban London, it is conveniently close to both Manor Park and Forest Gate main line stations, within minutes to Liverpool Street, the City and Central London.
Tree lined avenues and natural untouched areas provide a tranquil haven for wildlife, whilst the Columbarium, Pavilion and three memorial rose gardens give an opportunity for a place of quiet contemplation.
Walking along the tree lined roads and avenues of the estate, you can understand families returning to use the services of Manor Park Cemetery & Crematorium.
We aim to meet every individual wish of the deceased and the bereaved. Our sympathetic, caring staff will guide you through any delicate matters, which may arise, with dignity and dedication.

Running out of space

I often wonder how long it will be before the space available for burial runs out. At the moment, seventy percent of the funerals held at Manor Park are cremations. With the rate at which the population is growing, how long before it will need to be 100%?
Will there be more land made available for more cemeteries or will internment soon be a thing of the past?
Whatever the outcome I hope that they leave the existing ones for wildlife, and for future generations to stroll through in years to come.
Manor Park photo album >>