London Road Cemetery

Main gate, London Road Cemetery, Coventry, by Joseph Paxton (1803-1865) with his assistant John Robertson (1808/9-1853). The cemetery was opened in 1847. Like other structures of this a Grade I listed burial ground, the gates and the lodge, with its square tower, are of "reddish Hartshill stone" (listing text). This is clearly the entrance to a park-like area, which is exactly what was intended. Seen at the centre is the tall, elegant and impressive Paxton Memorial, which would surely have pleased the great man himself. [Click on these images to enlarge them.]

Left: The Italianate-style lodge. Right: One of the earliest known photographs of the cemetery, taken by Joseph Wingrave, of High Street, Coventry, a chemist and photographer who was also interred in the cemetery. Undated calotype, probably of the late 1840s.

The cemetery's own site describes the Entrance Lodge and Prospect Tower (the octagonal gazebo, capped with a tiled roof, seen above right, just to the east of the lodge) as "handsome and inviting, suggestive of dignity and elegance," and that was exactly the aim. Indeed, the cemetery quickly became a popular place to walk and enjoy the views. Before it had even been completed, a contemporary local historian, perhaps at around the time the early photograph was taken, wrote enthusiastically, "enough of it is already executed to warrant the recommendation to all visitors of a walk in this delightful scene" (Poole 109).

Recent photographs by Laurence Cooke; historic photograph kindly provided by Derek Robinson of the Friends of London Road. Captions by Simon Cooke; commentary and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. Click on the images to enlarge them.]


Hall, Ann. "John Robertson of Baslow — Architect." Friends of Princes Park. Web. 31 July 2019. [This is a very useful and relevant piece of research.]

"London Road Cemetery, Coventry." Historic England. Web. 31 July 2019.

"The London Road Cemetery" (the cemetery's own site). Web. 31 July 2019.

Poole, Benjamin. The New History of Coventry, Being a Concise Account of its Ancient Institutions, Customs, and Public Buildings. Later ed. Coventry: D. Lewin, 1862. Google Books. Free Ebook. Web. 31 July 2019. [The cemetery's records show that, like the photographer Wingrave, Poole himself was buried here.]

Created 31 July 2019