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Holborn
and the Charterhouse
Key:   Current observations and notes    Holmes  (1897)    Other sources     Maps

 

Additional Ground for St Johnís Clerkenwell, Benjamin Street.
Still very much as described by Holmes. Wall plaque says: 
ST JOHN'S CLERKENWELL. This consecrated graveyard  the property of St John's Clerkenwell which received for a hundred years the Christian dead. Here to await resurrection. Is now dedicated as a garden for the quiet enjoyment and refreshment of the living especially of the dwellers of its densely populated neighbourhood.

 This land, which is nearly 1 acre in extent, was consecrated in 1775. It was laid out as a public garden ten years ago, and is maintained by trustees with help from the Holborn District Board of Works and the Clerkenwell Vestry. Very well kept. (Holmes)


Charterhouse Square. 
An open grassed square, dull looking and giving no hint of its history described by Mrs Holmes.

This garden is a part of the site of a burial-ground dating back to 1349; when Sir Walter de Manny purchased from St. Bartholomew's Hospital 13 acres of land, known as the Spittle Croft, for the burial of those who died in the plague of that time. In 20 years 50,000 bodies were interred there. In 1371 the Carthusian Monastery was built upon it. Charterhouse Square is 1ľ acres.(Holmes)

The new Charterhouse Burial-ground 
This is now  the Masterís garden, with tombstones along the wall. It is approached through an arch with  skulls in 19thc. recognition .that pensionerís bodies went through here. (B.F.)

 
When the (old) ground was done away with, a smaller piece to the north was set aside for the interment of the pensioners. This remains still, and is very neatly kept. There are a few gravestones on the wall and splendid fruit trees. It is about 1 acre in extent.
Lost grounds

The Old Charterhouse Graveyard.
 
 In 1828 to 1830, when the present Pensioners' Court and other buildings were erected, part of this ground was built upon; but part exists in the courtyard on each side of the Pensioners' Courts, being about 1 acre in extent. All the open land has been used at one time or another for burials. (Holmes)


Rocque

Pardon Churchyard, Charterhouse  
The built over area between Great Sutton Street and Clerkenwell Rd. 
Opened 1348 for the use of plague victims.
Continued in use well into the seventeenth century for burial 'of such as desperately ended their lives, or were executed for felonies'. (Stow, 1603.) Partly built over by the time of Ogilby and Morgan (1676). 


As Holmes says, much of the area of the Charterhouse has been used for burials. In addition to the grounds mentioned there were extensive burials in the original church (demolished after the dissolution) and in the great cloister.
For more on the Charterhouse see MOLAS publication The London Charterhouse, Barber & Thomas, 2002

St. Sepulchre's Additional Ground  
Opened  1615. Area of this ground and the one below being redeveloped. 
Replaced by  Durham Yard Great Northern Goods Depot. (Holmes)

St. Sepulchre's Workhouse Ground, Durham Yard   

As above. This was the larger of the two. (Holmes)


The two grounds from Horwood.

A correspondent has provided the following additional information for the above entry:

This burial ground existed prior to 1615 as there is reference to it in John Strype's Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, published in 1598:-

St. Sepulchres Church, or St. Sepulchres in the Baily, seated on the top of Snow hill; a very large and spacious Church, with a lofty Towered Steeple, Spires at each corner, and Weathercocks on the tops. In which Steeple is a gallant ring of eight Bells; and in the Church is a pair of Organs. To this Church there is a large Churchyard both before and behind it; although not so large as of old time, good part being taken away, and converted into Buildings; so that now it is not enough for the burial of their Dead; and the Inhabitants are forced to make use of another large piece of Ground in Chicklane.

The "large piece of ground"  was actually only some 90 feet by 70 feet as the London Metropolitan Archive has a site plan of it dating from 1853. Durham Yardwas located off Newcastle Street and Chick Lane. The northern half of the yard being the Churchyard and the southern half being the Parish Workhouse.

The London Metropolitan Archives also has the St Sepulchre Vestry Minute Books from 1851-1894 which contain a report by the Parish Estates Committee on 10th August 1860 that the Churchyard and Church properties at Durham Yard were all  compulsorily purchased by the Corporation of the City of London as part of their planned re-building of Smithfield Meat Market.The Great Northern Goods Depot referred to by Mrs Holmes was actually sited between Turnmill Street and Snow Hill, well to the south west of Newcastle Street and Chick Lane and was not built until 1864.

According to the Archivist at The Church of England Record Centre, ecclesiastical law prevents the disinterral of bodies for reburial elsewhere unless a Bishop's Faculty is obtained and he confirmed that as no such Faculty was ever issued for the St Sepulchre Additional Ground the bodies would have been left where they lay.

As the Burial Act of 1858 made it a criminal offence to disturb graves the Corporation of London had soil carted in from a canal being cut in the Hampstead area to raise the level of the ground prior to building works commencing for the new Smithfield Meat & Poultry Market. ( Survey of London: Volume 46, South and East Clerkenwell). This Churchyard now therefore lies buried beneath the buildings that were erected alongside the market at 55-63 Charterhouse Street.

Baptist Chapel Ground, Glasshouse Yard    
Holmes says taken for Goswell Rd, just to the south of St Thomasís Charterhouse, But it is not clear how this could be covered by Goswell Rd as the chapel was not adjacent to it. 


Chapel appears on Rocque in Glass House Yard, but not the ground.

St Peter Saffron Hill
Not mentioned by by Holmes, or by Chadwick, which is probably why Mrs Holmes didn't pick it up. Opened 1832, lost when Faringdon Rd was cut through around 1846. LMA has burial records until 1852; the discrepancy may be due to vault burials or burials in the 'mausoleum' described in the Times report below. The ground was presumably behind the church, to the east.
   The church was bombed during WW2 and demolished. 

(extract below refers to the collapse of the Metropolitan Railway Works in June 1862, when heavy rain caused the Fleet Sewer to break through.)

During the night great quantities of Earth, brickwork and timber were constantly falling. Immediately on the spot where the accident has taken place was a few years since the burial-ground of St Peter's, which was removed upon the making of the new street.  The bodies then remaining in the ground were collected and placed in a mausoleum erected on the spot in an excavation purposely made. Last night this building was struck by the falling timbers of the railway, and the upper portions of the walls shattered to pieces, while the lower part was flooded by water from the sewer to the depth of several feet, and many of the bodies, or what remained of them were washed into the open excavation. Under the direction of the Rev. J W Laughlin, the rector of St Peter's, and the parochial authorities, they have been properly cared for.
                                                                                                                                                          (The Times, June 20th 1862.)