Mortlake Crematorium was a joint municipal venture, undertaken by the Boroughs of Hammersmith, Richmond, Barnes and Acton. The Crematorium lies within the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It is situated on the banks of the River Thames by Chiswick Bridge and serves the west and south-west of London.
Mortlake Crematorium was licensed in 1936 under the Mortlake Crematorium Act 1936, thereby becoming the first to be established under its own Act of Parliament. The building was designed by Douglas Barton, an employee of the Hammersmith Metropolitan Borough Council. It was constructed in three years at a cost of £27,000. It was equipped with a Garden of Remembrance for the burial or scattering of ashes, and also offered panels and niches in which ashes could be deposited. The facility was finally opened in January 1939 by Lord Horder, the then physician to the King. Mortlake Crematorium’s outward appearance changed little over the following years until 1982, when Colin Gilbert, an architect from Ealing, designed additional gardens on the area of land between the crematorium and the river Thames.
Grade II Listed Building Status
On the 6th May 2011, the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames received notice from English Heritage that the Crematorium was formally listed as Grade II under section 1 of the Listed Buildings Act 1990.
The assessment stated: –
“Cleverly designed, with a variety of spaces, Mortlake is clearly a very good example of its type. The chapel interior is impressive spatially, and the overall ensemble is virtually unaltered. It is a distinctive Art Deco design that survives little altered in a compact and practical composition.”
Reasons for designation decision
A well-executed and characterful variation on the classic crematorium design
Pleasing elevations and arcaded cloisters
Good quality detailing and interesting planning form
Very little altered since it opened in 1939
The overall control of the Mortlake Crematorium is vested in 12 elected representatives, three from four London Boroughs: – Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames. The Board meets at least three time a year. The current Councillors on the Board are:
Ealing: Cllrs Padda (Vice Chair), Dabrowska and Donnelly
Hammersmith & Fulham: Cllrs Alford (Chair) Morton and Smith
Hounslow: Chaudri, Curran, Denness
Richmond upon Thames: Avon, Bridges-Westcott, vacancy
The principal officers reporting to the Board are its Clerk, Treasurer and Superintendent.