queen’s road cemetery

Queen’s Road Cemetery, Walthamstow, London E17

Established as a result of the 1866 Walthamstow cholera epidemic, and formerly part of Markhouse Common, the 11-acre site was bought for £5,000 in 1872 by the Walthamstow Burial Board from the Pardoes of Leyton, the owners of Mark Manor. Six architects were invited to submit “plans and specifications for the erection of two chapels with entrance lodge and fence and gates on the south front of the burial ground”, the cost not to exceed £2,250. An unusual adjunct to the lodge was “a Room about twenty by fourteen feet for Inquest Room”. Other buildings required were “a Coach House and Tool House with Dead House”[1]. R C Sutton of Nottingham[2] was appointed architect and all of the buildings survive, with the Coroner’s Court still using the Inquest Room. The first burial took place on 2nd October 1872.

The Anglican and Non-Conformist Chapels, at right-angles to one another, in the 14th-century Decorated style and of Kentish ragstone, are connected by a porte corchere with octagonal louvred spire containing a single bell. The Entrance Lodge is also of Kentish ragstone and in the 14th-century Decorated style. The 4ft Kentish ragstone wall along the Queen’s Road boundary is capped by 3ft decorative wrought iron railings in a Gothic style, as are the double entrance gates and the pedestrian gate.

The monuments are, in the main, undistinguished, and the only tomb of any size is a small neo-Classical mausoleum in the north-east quarter of the cemetery. Also in this area are four public graves containing the remains of 129 people who died during an epidemic between September 1946 and February 1947. The majority of the monuments are signed by Dunkley & Co., 34 Queens Road, E17 and by Dunn, 122 Queen’s Road E17. Other monumental masons represented are: J W Amey; E Baker, 2 Priory Avenue, E17; Bower, Finchley, N22; F Dowell, 34 Queen’s Road, E17; T Druitt & Co., Stratford, E15; Lewis & Co., Chingford Mount, E4; London Co-operative Society; Millward & Co., Stamford Hill; W Thomas Ltd.; Underwood, Fortune Green, NW; Winters, Abney Park, London. Local funeral directors supplying and signing monuments are: A Bennett & Son, Leyton, E10; W Dyer & Co., 133 Hoe Street, E17; A Elfes, E7; A English, E17; F Hillman, E17; W Johns, Markhouse Road, E17; A White, 88 Queen’s Road and G White, 148 Hoe Street, E17.

From the information on the headstones, it appears that W A Dunkley was operating from 3 Pendlestone Road, E17 between 1872 and 1906, from 388 Hoe Street, E17 between 1906 and 1921/22 and from 34 Queen’s Road, E17 from 1922 until its closure in c.1980. The move to 34 Queen’s Road took place when Dunkley’s acquired the Queen’s Road business and premises of F Dowell, at which time W A Dunkley altered its name to Dunkley & Co. The monument of 1911 to Matthew Thomas (q.v.) is signed by an Albert Dunkley of 148 Mare Street, Hackney.

Two monuments in the cemetery – Knight (3531/3532) and Rayner (43) – are signed by Cusworth of Stamford Hill. This form was established by John Cusworth (b.1795; d. 1856) in 1819 and maintained branches at Stoke Newington High Street, Pentonville Hill and in Scotland. John Cusworth was responsible for the 1837 Ducrow mausoleum at Kensal Green Cemetery and for a number of mural monuments in Wesley’s Chapel and tombs in Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington. After his death the business was continued by John Cusworth Jnr (b.1825; d.1855) and his brother Thomas James Cusworth (d.1895). The two monuments at Queen’s Road Cemetery would have come off the chisel of T J Cusworth.

Graves are located in this list from the Main Gate. Thus “First pathway right, left side” indicates a grave on the left hand side of the first pathway on the right from the Main Gate. The grave can further be identified by the Plot Number given at the beginning of the description. However, the main monuments are to be found flanking the Centre Avenue and on the avenues encircling the two Chapels. Infilling of the inter-grave pathways with earth burials took place from 1973 but from c.1980 this continued for cremated remains only. Burials of note are:

ACRES, Birt (b.1854; d.1918)

402A. Right-hand path, nineteen plots up on left-hand side. White marble headstone.

Described as “A Pioneer of the Cineematograph”.

ALDRIDGE, Eliza(beth) (b.1845; d.1878)

2502C. Against left-hand boundary wall, 50 plots up from left at far end of second pathway. White marble Gothic headstone with kerbstones. Drowned in the Princess Alice disaster.

BIRT, Sir William (b.1835; d.1911)

336. Centre Avenue, right-hand side, under trees. White marble cross with kerbstones.

BLOWES, Henry (b.1871; d.1909)

3682. Against right-hand boundary wall, two-thirds of the way up, right-hand side. Tall sandstone headstone, curved top containing relief of pith-helmet and crossed rifles. Described as “Late Colour Sergeant, 1st Voluntary Battalion Essex Regiment.”

BOSTON, Henry (b.1834; d.1874)

3546. Centre Avenue, right-hand side, beyond Chapels. Brick grave with large grey granite stele. Boston lived at Low Hall, Walthamstow.

CARVILLE, George Tyrrell (b.1838; d.1914)

3555A/2. Curved Avenue, behind CofE Chapel. White marble cross with kerbstones.

Sd. Dunn, Queen’s Road. Founder of the Carville Home for Destitute Mothers.

COALES, Robert (b.1824; d.1885)

498. Second pathway, right, right side. Grey granite cross with kerbstones. Sd. F Dunn. Coales was an LLD.

CRUIKSHANK, James Roger (1820; d.1899)

334A. Centre Aenue, right side, under tree. Brick grave with large pointed-top red Rubbislaw granite headstone. Sd. Artistic Mon. Co. Of the Hon Society of the Middle Temple and a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Resided at Friars Watch, Walthamstow.

GIBBONS, George (b.1871; d.1941)

1823C. Left-hand perimeter path, 31 plots up on the right. White marble headstone and kerbing. Sd. Johns, E17. Gibbons was an Alderman and JP of Walthamstow.

HOOKE, Harriet (b.1839; d.1913)

Mausoleum. Third pathway right, left side. Small white marble neo-Classical tomb. Sd. E Dowell, 34 Queen’s Road.


HOUGHTON, William (b.1839; d.1917)

347/348. Centrte Avenue, right side, under tree. Brick grave with raised pink granite ledger. Solicitor,  Secretary to Walthamstow Board of Health 1873-1879.

KINGSFORD, Rev’d Frederick William (d.1899)

548. Curved Avenue in front of CofE Chapel. White marble cross with kerbstones. “For 36 years Vicar of St Thomas, Stamford Hill.”

KNIGHT, Alice (b.1834; d.1878)

3531/3532. Centre Avenue, right hand side, beyond Chapels. Double width brick grave with kerbs and railings, enclosing a pink granite stele surmounted by plain pink granite cross. Sd Cusworth, Stamford Hill. Alice Knight was the wife of Ambrose Knight of St George’s House, Upper Clapton.

MACE, George Stanley (b.1901; d.1993)

400A. First pathway right, left side, second row. Grey granite ledger. Sd. Tower Stonecraft. Solicitor, Mayor of EWalthamstow 1968-69.

McENTEE, Lady Catherine (b.1885; d.1962)

429A. First pathway right, left side. Red granite headstone with kerbstones. Sd. Dunkley & Co. Wife of Lord Valentine La Touche McEntee (q.v.). Chairman, Walthamstow Urban District Council, 1929. Mayor of Walthamstow 1937-38 and 1955-56. Freeman of the Borough of Walthamstow.

McENTEE, Lord Valentine La Touche 1st Baron Walthamstow (b.1861; d.1953)

429A. First pathway right, left side. Red granite headstone with kerbstones. Sd. Dunkley & Co. 1st Mayor of Walthamstow and 1st (and last) Baron McEntee of Walthamstow. MP for Walthamstow 1922-24 and 1929-50. Freeman of the Borough of Walthamstow[3].

MURRAY, Rev’d William (b.1865; d.1914)

Between 1421C and 1552A. Curved Avenue behind Non-Conformist Chapel. Grey granite headstone. “For 21 years Minister of Boundary Road Baptist Church.”

PEARSON, Rev’d Henry Daniel (b.1822; d.1896)

547. Curved Avenue in front of CofE Chapel. White marble headstone with kerbstones. “For 23 years Vicar of St James, Clapton.”£

PRIOR, George William (b.1899; d.1918)

1115DA. Centre Avenue, far end left. Small white marble headstone. Sd. A English/ St James Street. F/31588 Airman 1st Class Prior, of the Royal Navy Air Reserve, was “accidentally killed” on 22nd March 1918.

RAYNER, Robert (b.1821; d.1887)

43. First pathway right, three plots up on right hand side. Raised grey granite ledger.

Sd. Cusworth, Stamford Hill.


ROBINSON, Sir Sydney Walter John (b.1875; d.1950)

2410C. First pathway left, right side. Red granite heradstone with kerbstones. JP and Member of Essex County Council.

SHELFORD, Rev’d Leonard Edmund (b.1836; d.1914)

512. Curved Avenue to right of CofE Chapel. Brick grave with grey granite Celtic cross on plinth with kerbstones. Prevendary of St Paul’s, Rector of Stoke Newington and, finally, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

STRUGNELL, Rev’d Alfred (b.1825; d.1901)

550A. Curved Avenue to right of CofE Chapel. Tall white marble headstone with kerbstones. “For 29 years Vicar of St Jude’s, Bethnal Green.”

SUTTON, George (b.1843; d.1917)

1552A. Curved Avenue behind Non-Conformist Chapel. White marble headstone with shaped top with relief of an anchor. Sd. F Dowell, 34 Queen Road. Sutton is described as a “Master Mariner”.

THOMAS, Matthew Walter (b.1811; d.1878)

335. Centre Avenue, right, under trees. Brick grave with raised white marble ledger. Resided at Linden House, Walthamstow.

TURNER, Alfred (b.1822; d.1885)

481A. Second pathway right, far end right. Brick grave with large raised grey granite ledger. One of the largest tombs in the cemetery.

VERNHAM, Rev’d Frederick William (b.1851; d.1908)

352. First pathway right, left side. Grey granite Celtic cross with kerbstones. Sd. F Dunn. Vicar of St James-the-Greater, Walthamstow.

WILLIAMS, Jack (d.1917)

14BA. Centre Avenue, far end right. York stone headstone with curved top and kerbs. Described on headstone as a “Pioneer, comrade, socialist.”

© Julian W S Litten PhD FSA

Walthamstow, May 2006

[1] Minutes of the Walthamstow Burial Board, 2nd March 1871.

[2] In Nottinghamshire, R C Sutton was responsible for the Mortuary Chapel at Kimberly Cemetery


[3] The McEntee School, Billet Road, E17 was named after him.


3 responses to “queen’s road cemetery

  1. Correction: Queen’s Road Cemetery entry for CRUIKSHANK, James Roger (1820; d.1899) should read ROGER, James Cruikshank

  2. I’m asking your help in trying to resolve two apparent discrepancies between your account of Queens Road Cemetery and that of the http://queensroadstories.org/hotspot/queens-road-cemetery/ site in relation to the purchase of the site, the architect and whether the site was part of Markhouse Common.

    Your early comments will be much appreciated.

    Bill Bayliss

  3. Hi – do you know what the epidemic was that killed the people in Walthamstow in 46/47? Was it Polio? Thank you.

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