Tower Hamlet Cemetery

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Tower Hamlets Cemetery is a cemetery located in the East End of London; its nearest tube station is Mile End. The cemetery opened in 1841 and closed for burials in 1966. It is now a nature reserve, and other land has been added to the park, including “Scrapyard Meadow”.

Tower Hamlets Cemetery was very popular with people from the East End and by 1889 247,000 bodies had been interred (The cemetery remained open for another 77 years). In the first two years 60% of the burials were in public graves (i.e. those of poor people who could not afford a funeral) and by 1851 this had increased to 80%. Public graves were the property of the company and were used to bury those whose families could not afford to buy a plot. Several persons, entirely unrelated to each other, could be buried in the same grave within the space of a few weeks. There are stories of some graves being dug 40 feet deep and containing up to 30 bodies.





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