This section of the website comprises a transcript of some 13,700 gravestones at Ladywell & Brockley Cemetery, with the names of nearly 37,000 individuals buried there. The cemetery covers 21 acres and is located in the western part of the ancient parish of Lewisham, close to Ladywell and Crofton Park stations. The main vehicle entrance is at the east end, accessed from Ladywell Road.
|Plan of the layout of Ladywell & Brockley cemeteries||Ladywell, general view|
There were originally two cemeteries called Lewisham and Deptford, both established in 1858 on land in Lewisham belonging to the Earl of Dartmouth. This was in response to legislation of 1854 banning further burials in London's overcrowded churchyards. They were to receive burials from those two parishes. Originally separated by a strip of land, later extensions resulted in them abutting one another as shown on the map above, and now the old dividing wall is marked only by a grassy ridge. There is a large Roman Catholic section at the western end of Brockley Cemetery, and a later extension in the south which was used 1922-35 and is densely packed with gravestones. By 1914 Lewisham Cemetery had been renamed Ladywell, and Deptford later became known as Brockley. Since the creation of the London Borough of Lewisham in 1965 they have been administered as a single unit.
The transcript on this website may have been regarded as complete at the time it was made, but significant omissions have been noted so it should be regarded only as a "lucky dip" only rather than a definitive listing of surviving MIs. No plans appear to have been compiled by the original transcriber so that finding an individual stone may prove difficult.
Although some of the data has been available for some years, this is the first time that the entire database as originally recorded has been made available for searching. A few names from a War Memorial are in a different format and don't appear here.
|Click here to make a search.|
The original burial registers for both Ladywell and Brockley are now held in the Cemetery Office at Lewisham Crematorium, 1 Verdant Lane, London SE6 1TP, which also holds the registers for other cemeteries in the Borough. More information about an individual burial (including, if you're lucky, the location of any surviving gravestone) may be available from the cemetery office, see the Lewisham Council website. Searches currently cost £20.
The Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries (FOBLC) is a recently formed group. They organise volunteer days to improve the cemetery for users, relatives and wildlife.
London Cemeteries - An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer (1981) by Hugh Meller includes a section on Brockley Cemetery (p.71-73), with a short list of some notable people who were buried there.
Besides the database on this website, there is another manuscript survey produced independently by Mr Ken White, arranged in two sections (Ladywell and Brockley). This records inscriptions mainly as surname+initials, but omits those of lesser architectural interest. But it does have a useful introduction including reproductions of old photos/postcards, and there are grave numbers and plans. There is a copy of this work at Lewisham Local Studies and Archives Centre.
Click here to view some more photographs of the cemetery.
A number of people have been involved in the processing of the data over a period of more than 20 years, including at least three Society Project Coordinators. The inscriptions were originally recorded in the 1980s as a personal project by a Mr B. Clark, who then kindly loaned his original manuscript to the Society for typing and indexing.
In 1987-88 Society member David Warren entered 4,000 of the names into a database. Printouts of his work were produced by Society Projects Coordinator Elaine Williams and donated to the Society Library, the Society of Genealogists, Lewisham Local Studies Library and to the Cemetery Office.
Typing of the entire manuscript was then undertaken separately by Joyce and Charley Hoad in 1998-2000, with checking co-ordinated by Society Projects Coordinator Walter Eves.
Further work on the database including sequential numbering of the gravestones was begun by Projects Coordinator Bob Woodward in 2003, and completed by Peter Searle and Stephen Archer in 2006-07. Preparation of the database for publication on the website was undertaken by Stephen Archer in June 2007 to January 2008.