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St Anne's Soho
Key:   Current observations and notes   Holmes (1897)     Other sources     maps

 

St. Ann's Churchyard, Soho.
Opened around 1687 when the parish of St Anne was formed from part of St Martin in the Fields parish.  Once as described by Walker below, now a pleasant open space (enclosed by an extraordinarily hideous fence, presumably to keep out undesirables) in  a busy London Street. The ground level is at shoulder height compared with the pavement outside, which gives some indication of the number of burials here. New memorial to Hazlitt.
Bodysnatchers with grapplers and pickaxes were apprehended here in 1806. Five of the gang of six got away. The body of a woman and child were found in the ground 'in a state to be carried away'. (The Times February 20th 1806)
The church was bombed in the war and only the tower remains.
Burial place of Hazlitt (d. 1830) and Theodore Etienne, King of Corsica (d. 1756)

acre. It is estimated that in this small ground and the vaults under the church 110,240 bodies were interred during 160 years. It was laid out by the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association in 1892, and is maintained as a recreation ground in very good order by the Strand District Board of Works.    
  (Holmes)

 ST. ANN'S, Soho.- There is only one burying ground belonging to this parish; it is walled in on the side next to Princes Street; close to this wall is the bone house; rotten coffin wood and fragments of bones are scattered about. Some graves are only partly filled up, and left in that state, intended, probably, for paupers. The ground is very full, and is considerably raised above its original level; it is overlooked by houses thickly inhabited. The inhabitants of the neighbourhood have frequently complained of the past and present condition of this place. The numbers of dead here are immense.
(Walker 1839)


Early 19th Century print


1920s view


The scene now


Tomb of the King of Corsica