US Burial News

Willesden Cemetery joins exclusive list of protected parks

The United Synagogue welcomes the announcement of its Willesden Cemetery being awarded Registered Park and Garden Status by Historic England. The cemetery which is described as “London’s pre-eminent Victorian Jewish cemetery” by the report is the only Ashkenazi Jewish cemetery in England to be Registered as a park or garden.

The decision was based around four topics which are ‘historic interest’, ‘design interest’, ‘survival’ and ‘group value’. The historic element details the cemetery as the first venture of the United Synagogue and the influential families and individual buried there, with ‘survival’ relating to the excellent condition of the grounds and the subsequent evolution of the cemetery being well-documented and legible.

Part of the report states: “Willesden Jewish Cemetery (also known as the United Synagogue Cemetery) is a highly significant and important Jewish cemetery in a national context and as such it fully merits its place on the Register of Parks and Gardens for its designed plan, planting, complex of high quality and listed funerary buildings, and a vast range of tombs and monuments of differing stylistic influences and complexity, including those to key Jewish figures from the 19th Century onwards”.

Speaking about the announcement, US Director responsible for Burial, David Kaplan said: “I’m delighted that our beautiful Willesden Cemetery has received further recognition from Historic England. This new status will ensure that Willesden Cemetery and the many significant figures it contains will continue to showcase the Jewish contribution to British society for generations to come”. The announcements follows the cemetery receiving Grade II Listing last month and the Listing of the grave of Rosalind Franklin as Grade II in March 2017.

In a separate announcement on Wednesday, the War Memorial and the burial enclosures of Mayer, Juliana, and Hannah Rothschild at Willesden Cemetery are being listed at Grade II.

On Sunday 17 September, Willesden Cemetery in conjunction with Open House London will be opening its sites or buildings to those interested in architecture for the first time.