Upgrades for historic cemeteries
Jonathan Lovie writes:
We are very pleased that as a result of work commissioned last year, English Heritage has announced a significant revision of the grading of cemeteries included on the Register of Parks and Gardens. As well as upgrades to Grade I for major metropolitan cemeteries such as Kensal Green and Highgate, the revised grades also recognise the seminal influence of sites such as the 1820s St James’ Cemetery in Liverpool. More surprisingly, perhaps, two twentieth century commemorative landscapes, Golders Green Crematorium (with grounds designed in part by William Robinson), and the Stoke Poges Gardens of Remembrance in Buckinghamshire have also been raised to Grade I status, while Thomas Mawson’s 1920s Saffron Hill Cemetery, Leicester has risen to Grade II*.
This comprehensive re-assessment of the significance of all registered cemeteries is very much to be welcomed, and has removed many inconsistencies in the Register’s previous designation of this landscape type. At the same time it is interesting, and also somewhat alarming, to note that Highgate Cemetery along with several other major London cemeteries, has been included on the At Risk Register.