Necropolis Station

Rail station in/near Waterloo, existed between 1854 and 1941.

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Rail station · * · ·
December
15
2017
The London Necropolis Railway was opened in 1854 as a reaction to severe overcrowding in London’s existing graveyards and cemeteries.

Waterloo station was originally the terminus for London’s daily funeral express to Brookwood Cemetery. Funerary trains bearing coffins (at 2/6 each - singles, naturally) left from the ’Necropolis Station’ just outside the main station. The Necropolis Station was totally destroyed during World War II.

It aimed to use the recently-developed technology of the railway to move as many burials as possible to the newly-built Brookwood Cemetery in Brookwood, Surrey. This location was within easy travelling distance of London, but distant enough that the dead could not pose any risk to public hygiene.

Although it had its own branch line into Brookwood Cemetery, most of the route of the London Necropolis Railway ran on the existing London and South Western Railway (LSWR). Consequently, a site was selected in Waterloo, near the LSWR’s recently-opened London terminus at Waterloo Bridge station (now London Waterloo). The building was specifically designed for the use of mourners. It had many private waiting rooms, which could also be used to hold funeral services, and a hydraulic lift to raise coffins to platform level. Existing railway arches were used for the storage of bodies.

In 1899 the location of the terminus was blocking the expansion of Waterloo station. After much negotiation, the LSWR reached agreement with the London Necropolis Company, the owners of the cemetery and the railway: in return for the existing site, the LSWR re-equipped the London Necropolis Railway and supplied it with a new station on Westminster Bridge Road. This new building was designed to contrast with other funeral directors’ premises by being as attractive as possible. In 1902 the railway moved into the new building, and the earlier station was demolished.

On 16 April 1941 the station was heavily damaged in an air raid. Much of the building was destroyed and the tracks to the station were rendered unusable. Although some funeral trains continued to run from nearby Waterloo station, the London terminus was never used again. Following the end of the war the London Necropolis Company decided that reopening the London Necropolis Railway was not financially worthwhile, and the surviving part of the station building was sold as office space. This remnant remains intact, and relatively unaltered since its opening.


Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY

Comment
Bruce McTavish   
Added: 11 Mar 2021 11:37 GMT   

Kennington Road
Lambeth North station was opened as Kennington Road and then Westminster Bridge Road before settling on its final name. It has a wonderful Leslie Green design.

Reply
Born here
sam   
Added: 31 Dec 2021 00:54 GMT   

Burdett Street, SE1
I was on 2nd July 1952, in Burdett chambers (which is also known as Burdett buildings)on Burdett street

Reply

LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Lived here
Mike Dowling   
Added: 15 Jun 2024 15:51 GMT   

Family ties (1936 - 1963)
The Dowling family lived at number 13 Undercliffe Road for
Nearly 26 years. Next door was the Harris family

Reply
Comment
Evie Helen   
Added: 13 Jun 2024 00:03 GMT   

Vickers Road
The road ’Vickers Road’ is numbered rather differently to other roads in the area as it was originally built as housing for the "Vickers" arms factory in the late 1800’s and early 1900s. Most of the houses still retain the original 19th century tiling and drainage outside of the front doors.

Reply

Paul Harris    
Added: 12 Jun 2024 12:54 GMT   

Ellen Place, E1
My mother’s father and his family lived at 31 Ellen Place London E1 have a copy of the 1911 census showing this

Reply
Comment
   
Added: 10 Jun 2024 19:31 GMT   

Toll gate Close
Did anyone live at Toll Gate Close, which was built in the area where the baths had been?

Reply

Charles Black   
Added: 24 May 2024 12:54 GMT   

Middle Row, W10
Middle Row was notable for its bus garage, home of the number 7.

Reply
Comment
   
Added: 2 May 2024 16:14 GMT   

Farm Place, W8
The previous name of Farm Place was Ernest St (no A)

Reply
Comment
Tony Whipple   
Added: 16 Apr 2024 21:35 GMT   

Frank Whipple Place, E14
Frank was my great-uncle, I’d often be ’babysat’ by Peggy while Nan and Dad went to the pub. Peggy was a marvel, so full of life. My Dad and Frank didn’t agree on most politics but everyone in the family is proud of him. A genuinely nice, knowledgable bloke. One of a kind.

Reply
Comment
Theresa Penney   
Added: 16 Apr 2024 18:08 GMT   

1 Whites Row
My 2 x great grandparents and his family lived here according to the 1841 census. They were Dutch Ashkenazi Jews born in Amsterdam at the beginning of the 19th century but all their children were born in Spitalfields.

Reply

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NEARBY PUBS






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The Windmill
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