St. Jamesís Churchyard, Piccadilly.
paved area is
to the North, on the Piccadilly side of the church, and is in use as a
market selling tourist tat. The
raised 'Green ground' to the west is a pleasant enough space up a flight of stairs
with a fountain. It contains a caravan providing emotional support
are a number of notices stuck in the ground or hanging from trees with
strictures about feeding pigeons, drinking alcohol, etc.
Ĺ acre. This is a dreary
ground, and might be made very attractive. The part where most burials
took place is considerably raised above the rest. The yard on the north
side of the church is entirely paved with stones, amongst which are many
tombstones. In the upper part tombstones form the walks, the walls,
&c. One gate is often unlatched. (Holmes)
St. James Workhouse-ground,
Opened in 1693
in an area known as Pawlett's Garden, possibly on the site of a plague
1711 the vestry received a complaint about the smoke issuing from the
chimney of Cope the gravemaker's house in the burial ground. The smoke
was 'noysome and offenceive' and was caused 'by the Burning of Old
Rotten Coffin Boards, and by his Wife's Frequent Landring for People'.
By 1733 the ground was full: St James's workhouse was built in 1728 and this
had encroached on the ground.
Ground in the adjacent Pesthouse Close was rented at this
time. At a vestry meeting it
was computed that the new ground '
will hold 12,000 bodies, which rot so fast that 800 may annually be
buried in it.'
Gone by 1870, when according
to the O.S. map a chapel occupied at least part of the former burial
ground. Now covered by various commercial buildings between Poland Street and
Marshall Street. (Information from British History on-line).
The work-house was built upon a "common cemetery"
where, at the time of the plague, many thousands of bodies were
interred. A small part of it was kept as the workhouse burial-ground,
but this has now disappeared, and all that is left of the original
ground used for interments is the garden or courtyard of the workhouse.
It is a pleasant recreation ground for the inmates, and is well supplied
with seats, being about ľ acre in extent. (Holmes)