Church Monuments Society

Soane tomb

The Graveyards of St Pancras, London



St Pancras Old Church (start point)
Pancras Rd, London NW1 1UL

This walking tour takes in two exceptional burial grounds – and a church. The first visit is to St Pancras Gardens, formerly a churchyard of a medieval Middlesex parish, to which was added the burial ground of St Giles in the Fields. It is best known for the Grade I family tomb of Sir John Soane (1815) but there are other memorials of note too, including John Flaxman’s slab. The church contains numerous monuments including a choice cartouche to the noted miniature painter Samuel Cooper (‘Angliae Apelles’ d.1672). The second stop is St George’s Gardens: the twin burial ground for the parishes of St George Bloomsbury and St George the Martyr, Queen Square. This was opened in 1715 by the Commissioners for Building New Churches as a new way of coping with London’s dead: a detached cemetery, on the outskirts of town. There are some good remaining monuments from early Georgian times, and many burials of interest from the Jacobite ‘Manchester Martyrs’, buried here after being hanged, drawn and quartered in 1746, to Zachary Macaulay (1838) the anti-slavery campaigner. The walk ends close to the Foundling Museum which can be visited after the tour.

Caveat: if there is a service at the church we may have to omit this aspect of the walk. At time of writing, no services have been booked. The walk will cover a couple of miles: stout footwear recommended.