Photographs by the author, with many thanks to historian Eric Willis of the Maintenance Department of the Crematorium for his guidance and information. 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.]

The West Chapel

Left: Looking into the West Chapel designed by Ernest George and Alfred B. Yeates. Right: Stained glass window in memory of eminent homeopathic physician, Raphael Roche (1857-1945).

This was one of the first buildings to be completed before the opening in 1902. The crematorium's "Brief History" describes it as "spacious and dignified," with space for two hundred mourners, though current information gives a smaller number (120 sitting and forty standing). Apart from the stained glass memorial window above, and the mosaic shown below, it has a bust of Sir Henry Thompson, who was the first president of the Cremation Society, and a set of plaques in memory of the Maharajah of Cooch Behar and his family: the Maharajah had died in Sussex in 1911, and was cremated here, although his ashes were taken to India.

Musician angels in a mosaic inscribed underneath: "Dedicated to the Happy Memory of Those She Loves Gone on Before by Minnie Ramsay AD 1915."

Other Chapels

Two views of the smaller East Chapel, which was added by the firm of Mitchell and Bridgewater in 1939. Despite being described in the crematorium's listing text as "Neo-Georgian in style," it seems very much in keeping with George and Yeates's vision.

Left: The Duke of Bedford's Chapel. Right: The Chapel of Memory.

The small chapel, used for child cremations, was added in 1911. According to the crematorium's "brief History," the ninth Duke was one of those who promoted cremation, and had indeed helped finance the Woking crematorium: he had "built a small cremator there which was used for his own cremation in 1891" — and this small cremator was relocated to this chapel at Golders Green by the eleventh Duke, himself a future president of the Cremation Society. The Chapel of Memory with its Remembrance Books and various commemorative panels and floral displays was another addition by Mitchell and Bridgewater, completed in 1939, completing the long range of buildings looking across the gardens to the south.

Smaller shrines

Left: A commemorative spaces for those Jewish people created here. Right: A small shrine to Shiva, for the Indian community. Many of the memorial plaques bear Hindu names.

The Ernest George Columbarium

The small central apse on the ground floor of the Ernest George Columarium has a vividly coloured mosaic, and light floods in through its port-like windows. There are fifteen niches here for urns or caskets. Along its walls, this early building has spaces for as many 1,700 of these.

Related Material

Bibliography

Golders Green Crematorium, Barnet. Historic England. Web. 1 March 2020.

Golders Green Crematorium: Information. London Cremation Company. Web. 1 March 2020.

Golders Green Crematorium, Barnet. Historic England. Web. 1 March 2020.

"Golders Green Crematorium, London: The East Columbarium." RIBA. Web. 1 March 2020.

Pearson, Lynn F. Discovering Famous Graves. Princes Risborough, Bucks: Shire, 1998.


Created 1 March 2020