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Paddington Old Cemetery Chapels, Brent

Category

Grade II listed within a Grade II Registered Park and Garden and a Conservation Area.  On the Heritage at Risk Register

"A Future for Paddington Old Cemetery Chapels"

About the Project

Over the course of 2024, the project will explore the history, condition, and local significance of these Grade II listed Chapels, create a strategic plan for their conservation and identify opportunities for new uses.

The project is driven by the ambition to repair the buildings and give them a sustainable and appropriate new use that benefits the local area.

The project is led by the London Borough of Brent, working closely with LHBT (as Project Manager), Richard Griffiths Architects and Friends of Paddington Old Cemetery.

Paddington Old Cemetery opened in 1855, making it one of the earliest civic cemeteries to be built. The architect, Thomas Little, designed the Cemetery with a series of pathways in the shape of a horseshoe, which can still be seen today, with the gothic-style Chapels as the focal point.

As well as its notable monuments, the Cemetery is the burial place for several historical and cultural figures, including the first captain of England’s football team; Holocaust survivors; Michael Bond, author and creator of Paddington Bear; a Muslim princess; an important Indian journalist; and numerous members of the Windrush Generation who did so much to shape this community.

Over the course of the project there will be opportunities for people to get involved in consultation on the future of the Chapels’, as well as talks and tours around the cemetery.

Scroll down for the latest info on the project.

If you have any further questions about the project, please email the project team on paddingtonoldchapels@gmail.com.

Share your thoughts!

Throughout the project we will be speaking with local people, organisations and conservation professionals to explore and refine viable ideas for the Chapels’ revitalisation.

Take a look inside...

Scroll though the photos below and review the plan of the Chapels’ layout to help you think about how the Chapels’ could be brought back into a sustainable use that supports local needs. 

Consultation Plan

We will be delivering two phases of Consultation during 2024.

Phase 1: May-June 2024

We will be asking questions (see above survey link) to better understand what is going on in the local community; what is missing in terms of local services, facilities or activities; and how might the Chapels support this local area, and Brent more widely. 

Phase 2: September 2024

Having brought the Phase 1 feedback together with our own investigations and assessments, the project team will be sharing a few concept ideas for the Chapels’ reuse. We will want feedback on these concept ideas to help us further refine the possibilities. We will issue a second survey at this point. 

15 September: Drop in Event!

As part of Phase 2, we will be hosting a consultation drop in event on 15 September 2024, at the Chapels. Put this date in your diary, so you can come down, meet the project team, and discuss the ideas in person whilst you explore the Chapels.

If you can’t make this date, don’t worry, all consultation materials will be hosted on this webpage so you won’t miss the chance to view the ideas. 

Upcoming Activities

We are planning a series of activities as part of the project to share the heritage and history of the Chapels and wider cemetery. 

This includes:

  • Cemetery and Chapels’ Heritage: Walk and Talk  
  • Cemetery Biodiversity: Walk and Talk
  • Virtual Tour of the Chapels
  • Consultation Drop In
  • Historical Research

Please keep checking this page for the latest information on event dates and times.

History

Paddington Old Cemetery is an expansively designed cemetery which opened in 1855 making it one of the earliest civic cemeteries to be built following the 1852 Metropolitan Interment Act.

The architect was Thomas Little who had recently completed a scheme at Nunhead Cemetery in Southwark Little laid out Paddington with a series of pathways in the shape of a horseshoe, which can still be seen today, with the 13th Century gothic-style Chapels as the centrepiece.

The group of buildings consist of two chapels: an Anglican chapel to the west, and a Non Conformist chapel to the east which is a typical arrangement of cemetery chapel sites from this era. The Anglican chapel is noticeably more ornate with richer decoration and a large stained glass window. Comparatively, the Non Conformist chapel is much plainer with a clear glazed tripartite window.

The twin chapels are linked by two porte-cochères with a central belfry. Tucked to each side of the belfry are located two small vicars’ offices, ladies and gentleman’s toilets, and a kitchen/workroom for the cemetery employees.

The wider cemetery includes important monuments, and is the burial place for several historical and cultural figures, including the first captain of England’s football team; Holocaust survivors; Michael Bond, author and creator of Paddington Bear; a Muslim princess whose family were victims of colonialism; an important Indian journalist; and numerous members of the Windrush generation who did so much to shape this community.

Meet the Project Team

LHBT Project Manager Hannah Southgate

Hannah will be coordinating the delivery of the project, working on behalf of Brent Council.

Hannah is one of LHBT’s experienced project managers, splitting her time between the Trust’s project work and leading on our training programmes. Hannah worked with officers at Brent Council to help shape this project, and secure the funding.

Lead Consultant (Conservation Architect) Sibylle Metge-Toppin

Sibylle will be leading on developing and assessing the architectural viability of repair and reuse options over the course of the project. 

Passionate about heritage architecture and their reuse and adaptation for a sustainable future, Sibylle is a Conservation Architect, and is AABC registered working for Richard Griffiths Architects (RGA) since 2017.

Sibylle has been working with Brent Council at Paddington Old Cemetery Chapels for the past few years, helping to scope and deliver a number of packages of urgent repairs.

RGA gives new life to old buildings, conserving them to reveal the heritage of the past and adapting them to enrich the present and the future.

Community ConsultantCaroline Bourne

Caroline will be overseeing the community engagement and leading on consultation during the project as we build a picture of a possible route forward for the Chapels’.

Caroline is an experienced London professional with a history of developing creative urban regeneration projects. Having lived and worked in Kilburn & Willesden for 25 years Caroline has excellent links to the immediate and wider communities around Paddington Old Cemetery.

Caroline is a founding member of SharedCity – a CIC set up to offer experiences that encourage everyone to make the most of being in the most multicultural city in the world. 

Surveys and Assessments

We will also be working with a wider team of professionals to deliver a series of investigations to help us better understand the Chapels:

  • Statement of Heritage Significance
  • Measured Survey
  • Drainage Survey
  • 3D Building Scan
  • Preliminary Roost Assessment
  • Mechanical and Electrical services Assessment
  • Structural Assessment

Funding

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