The site on Deane Road in Kensington was purchased as a formal burial ground in 1835, when it would have stood in open countryside on the outskirts of the City.
The entrance was marked by a huge entrance wall in the Greek Revival Style complete with carriage drive approach protected by railings and gates. The Cemetery itself being surrounded by 16 foot high brick walls with terracotta copings.
As the City developed in the late 19th Century the site became surrounded by housing. The first burials occurred in 1837 and continued until 1904, after which only those with reserved plots were buried, the last one being in 1929. Sadly the cemetery fell into disrepair with the prayer hall and cottage being demolished in 1952.
There have been numerous attempts at restoration, none of which met with success. Fortunately in 2010 the Heritage Lottery Fund provided £494,000 to support a full restoration of the remaining structures and the construction of a new Visitors Centre.
The scope of works included repairs to the Grade II listed entrance archway and front wall, repairs to the boundary walls and construction of a green-roofed resource/visitor centre, creation of a formal seating area and associated hard landscaping, improvements to existing routes around the Cemetery, including ramps and pathways that meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act, and reseeding of grassed areas and creation of a wild flower border.
The whole scheme has been developed with cognisance of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s guidance, ‘Planning Greener Heritage Projects’.