One of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries to be revitalised with £3.7m grant

A council has received a £3.7million grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to transform the Grade II listed building at the entrance of a cemetery.

The funding will be used by Southwark council and the Friends of Nunhead Cemetery (FONC) to deliver the Nunhead Cemetery East Lodge: From Ruin to Revival project.

The Grade II listed East Lodge is currently on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register. The project aims to reinstate the building as a welcoming gateway to the cemetery with a new café, community space and new base for Friends of Nunhead Cemetery and their volunteers.

Image showing East Lodge currently covered in scaffolding before works begin (Picture: Southwark council)

A new role, the Outreach and Development Manager, will also be created to lead and grow the existing events designed to engage residents across all communities, such as oral history sessions, exhibitions and art events.

Nunhead Cemetery is the second largest of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries established in London between 1832 and 1841. With an original path layout, the cemetery features more than 44,000 memorials and is the final resting place for about 290,000 people.

A blue plaque commemorates the Nunhead Cemetery (Picture: Southwark council)

With 52 acres of woodland, grassland and wetland environments, the cemetery is now also a Local Nature Reserve and is part of the Green Chain Walk.

Councillor Catherine Rose, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, leisure and parks, said: “Working to support the Friends of Nunhead Cemetery and with the wider local community, we are securing Nunhead Cemetery as a leafy oasis steeped in history that is accessible to everyone. 

“Restoring the East Lodge and opening it up for wider community use and benefit is an important part of our role as the current custodians. We are committed to conserving it for future generations, so we are delighted to have the support of the Heritage Fund.”

Pictured top: CGI aerial view of the improved East Lodge (Picture: Southwark council)

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