Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham

Today’s Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham was first called Lewisham Cemetery. The Cemetery ‘…was opened by Lewisham Burial Board on a plot of agricultural land purchased from the Trustees of the Earl of Dartmouth. A competition to design the cemetery was won by Messrs Tinkler and Morphew, who were also appointed by Deptford Burial Board who had bought a plot of adjacent land for its own cemetery. ( London Gardens Online)

OS map of 1895 (https://maps.nls.uk/os/6inch-england-and-wales/)

A low wall separated the two until c.1948, which is traceable as a bank. A central strip of land between the two [marked as ‘Nursery’ on the 1895 map?] had been purchased by Ladywell Burial Board for eventual expansion and Ladywell Cemetery was extended here in the early C20th. In 1965 both cemeteries came under the new London Borough of Lewisham but retain separate records. Ladywell Cemetery was less densely planted than its neighbour, which generally has grander monuments, but Ladywell retains its chapel…’.

3D map of Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries (Google)
The entrance to Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham from Ladywell Road
The entrance to Ladywell Cemetery from Ladywell Road

Ladywell Cemetery today

From the entrance of Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham a tarred road leads to the Cross of Sacrifice which commemorates those killed or missing in WWI, and the Non-Conformist Mortuary Chapel. The Church of England Chapel has gone, and I couldn’t find any trace on the ground.

The Cross of Sacrifice in Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham
The Cross of Sacrifice in Ladywell Cemetery
Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham
The Non-Conformist Mortuary Chapel in Ladywell Cemetery
The Non-Conformist Mortuary Chapel in Ladywell Cemetery

War memorials & graves

There are war graves in this cemetery as well; 226 war graves from World War I and 18 from World War II. I believe the War Graves Commission erected and maintains this group of gravestones alongside Brockley Grove. There is also a memorial to civilians killed in Hither Green and Sydenham by bombs in WWI. And, as in Brockley Cemetery, you can find War Graves (Kipling Stones) throughout the cemetery.

War Graves in Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham
War Graves in Ladywell Cemetery
War Graves in Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham
War Graves in Ladywell Cemetery
War Memorial in Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham
The Memorial to soldiers buried elsewhere in the cemetery
War Memorial in Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham
The memorial to civilians killed by bombs in Hither Green and Sydenham
Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham
A civilian killed in the air raids?
Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham
A War Grave in Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham

I am not entirely clear about the square in the map above which just south of the ‘Nursery’ on the map of 1895 – is this part of Brockley or Ladywell? On the ground it is heavily treed and overgrown, which seems to indicate Brockley, and the shape is not clear.

Trees in the cemetery

The cemetery is not as densely treed as Brockley and so rather more bleak.The site of the wall, now a bank is, I think very clear from this side. It is also clear the Brockley Cemetery side, where there is a paved path and a line of large trees. This part of the cemetery is heavily treed but beyond this it is more open, and so rather more bleak.

Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham
The site of the wall/bank dividing the two cemeteries
An avenue along the wall/bank
A quiet corner in Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham
A quiet corner in Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham
A curious gravestone in Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham
A curious gravestone in Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham

These two cemeteries, Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham and Brockley Cemetery, are very beautiful. On both occasions I visited I found people walking through the cemetery, sometimes with children.  It is worth visiting, and lingering.

Further information
Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries
Information about the cemeteries and those buried there

I'd love to hear from you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.