mobile nav


St John the Evangelist garden St John the Evangelist burial ground

Fountain: St John the Evangelist garden

Erection date: 23/5/1885


St John the Evangelist Westminster
This burial ground, having been closed for interments by order in council dated October 31 1853, was opened as a public garden May 23 1885 by their graces the Duke and Duchess of Westminster.
C. W. Furse, Rector
F Seager Hunt - Treasurer
Charles Wright - Hony.Secretary
- St John's Garden Committee

Site: St John the Evangelist burial ground (2 memorials)

SW1, Horseferry Road, St John the Evangelist garden

The garden's modern information board reads: This garden was acquired by the church of St John the Evangelist, Smith Square, for the use as a cemetery and was consecrated by Dr Wilcocks, Dean of Westminster, on 29 July 1731. the burial ground was overcrowded within 20 years and three feet of earth was deposited over the whole area as a solution to problem {sic}. Overcrowding continued to cause difficulties, and fees were raised several times in attempts to prevent "low fees attracting interments from other parishes". One report said that 5,126 graves had been dug in ten years. The burial ground was not protected by a wall until 1784, but two watchmen were appointed for night duty in 1781, when the stealing of bodies for dissection was common. In 1814, after a time without watchmen, they again were needed, and were armed with pistols.

In 1823 Lord Grosvenor sold adjoining land to the parish, and this was consecrated as a burial ground on 23 June that year. Lord Palmerston closed the burial ground in October 1853, claiming it had become a great public nuisance. After closure it was neglected until 1880 when a committee of inhabitants was appointed to convert it into a public garden. A strip of the ground was given for the widening of Horseferry Road. The garden was opened on 23 May 1885 by the Duke of Westminster, and in 1887 the MP for Marylebone, Sir Frederick Seager Hunt, paid for a shelter to be built in the centre. The layout of the garden remains the same today.

Except, clearly, the shelter has now been replaced with a fountain, and this plaque, recovered from the shelter or elsewhere, has been reclaimed and laid into the slabs around the fountain.

Both plaques are laid into the paving around the fountain.

View this memorial on a map

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
St John the Evangelist garden

Information Subjects commemorated

This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
St John the Evangelist garden

Information Created by

Archdeacon Charles Wellington Furse

1882 Rector of St John the Evangelist and went on to become Archdeacon of Wes...

Read More

Sir Frederick Seager Hunt

M.P. for Marylebone.

Read More

Duchess of Westminster

As Katherine Caroline Cavendish she married the soon to be Duke of Westminste...

Read More

Duke of Westminster, 1st, Hugh Lupus Grosvenor

Son of the 2nd Marquess. Created Duke in 1874, mainly it seems for owning lar...

Read More

Charles Wright

Honorary Secretary of the St John's Garden Committee, 1882.

Read More

This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
St John the Evangelist garden

Information Also at this site

Westminster Hospital - burial ground

The foundation stone of the Westminster Hospital for its move from Broad Sanc...

Read More