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Mortlake Crematorium

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Title: Mortlake Crematorium  
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Mortlake Crematorium

Mortlake Crematorium
General information
Type Crematorium
Location Kew,[1] London, England, UK
Construction started 1936
Completed 1939
Opening 1939
Cost £27,000[2]
Owner London boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames
Management Mortlake Crematorium Board
Design and construction
Architect Douglas Barton[2]
Developer Hammersmith Metropolitan Borough Council

Mortlake Crematorium is a crematorium in Kew,[1] near its boundary with Mortlake, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

It serves the boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames in the west and south-west of London.[3] It is managed by a board made up of three elected councillors from each of these four boroughs.[4]

Citing it as "a rare example" of Art Deco design in the borough, Richmond upon Thames Council has described it as "a building of exceptional quality and character".[5] Environmentalist Colin Hines describes it as "probably the most undiscovered deco treasure in London".[6] The building was awarded Grade II listing by English Heritage in 2011.[7]


The crematorium is on Kew Meadow Path, Townsmead Road,[8] Kew.[1] It is situated on the banks of the River Thames by Chiswick Bridge and in Clifford Avenue, adjoining Hammersmith New Cemetery in the angle of Mortlake Road (which forms part of the South Circular Road) and Chertsey Arterial Road.[9] The nearest London Underground station is Kew Gardens.


Mortlake Crematorium was built on the site of Pink's Farm, which had belonged to Richard Atwood, whose family were prominent market gardeners in the area.[10]

It was licensed in 1936 under the Mortlake Crematorium Act 1936, thereby becoming the first to be established under its own Act of Parliament.[2] Designed by Douglas Barton,[7] borough surveyor to Hammersmith Metropolitan Borough Council,[7] the building was constructed in three years at a cost of £27,000.[2] It was also equipped with a Garden of Remembrance for the burial or scattering of ashes, and also offered panels and niches in which ashes could be deposited. When the facility was finally opened in January 1939 by Lord Horder, the then Physician to the King,[3] he said: "You seem to have eliminated the sombreness of atmosphere which sometimes shrouds buildings such as these".[2][6] Mortlake Crematorium's outward appearance changed little over the following years until 1982, when Colin Gilbert, an architect from Ealing, designed additional gardens on the area of land between the crematorium and the river Thames.[11]


Among those cremated here were:

Seventy-seven Commonwealth servicemen of World War II were cremated here and their names are listed on a screen wall memorial erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in the adjoining Hammersmith New Cemetery.[9] They include England rugby international Vivian Davies (1899–1941), Captain Royal Artillery.[22]


  1. ^ a b c "Kew Village Plan Consultation Boards". Village Plans.  
  2. ^ a b c d e "Mortlake Crematorium Board – Its History". Mortlake Crematorium Board. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Notable dead at Mortlake". Mortlake Crematorium Board. 14 December 2008. 
  4. ^ "Mortlake Crematorium Board – The Present". Mortlake Crematorium Board. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Cabinet Member For Environment And Planning. Report of: Assistant Director Environment Planning & Review. Subject: Buildings of Townscape Merit".  
  6. ^ a b  
  7. ^ a b c "Mortlake Crematorium".  
  8. ^ "Contact Us". Mortlake Crematorium Board. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Cemetery details: Mortlake Crematorium".  
  10. ^ David Blomfield (1994). Kew Past.  
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "Mortlake Crematorium". On Kew. Spring 2006. 
  12. ^ Kieran Smith (6 March 2002). "Richard Beckinsale".  
  13. ^ "Transitions". The Advocate (Here Publishing) (681): 19. 16 May 1995.  
  14. ^ Roger Lewis, The Man Who Was Private Widdle, London, 2002
  15. ^ David Cesarani (1988). Arthur Koestler: The Homeless Mind.  
  16. ^ "Grave location for holders of the Victoria Cross in Surrey". Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  17. ^ "Poignant farewell to Price".  
  18. ^ Calum McDonald and Karen Bale (4 December 2003). "Top Scots actor dies on stage: Gordon has heart attack".  
  19. ^ Amy Dyduch (17 April 2013). "Margaret Thatcher supporters line streets of Mortlake".  
  20. ^ Scott, Andrew Murray (2012). Alexander Trocchi: The Making of the Monster (Second edition, revised and expanded. ed.). Edinburgh: Polygon. p. 220.  
  21. ^ "Cremation Writes Finis To Dr. Ward's Sordid Career After Suicide Verdict".  
  22. ^ "Davies, Vivian Gordon". Casualty details.  

External links

  • Official website

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