Friends Meeting House Graveyard

The Graveyard of the Society of Friends

 

This land is surrounded by Bush Wood and has been enclosed for over a hundred years; before 1870 it was the Becontree assembly rooms and the practising ground of an archery club. It was purchased for Quaker meetings mainly at the expense of J. Gurney Barclay. The present meeting-house was built in 1968. (photos). The graveyard, enclosed by a brick wall (except where this has collapsed and has been replaced by a railing fence at the south edge), consists of a grass lawn edged by the simple Quaker memorial headstones with a border of planted shrubs by the wall. Amongst the headstones is one to Elizabeth Fry. This was originally in the grounds of Barking Abbey, but was moved here for safety.

The flora of the graveyard was surveyed some 60 years ago by Gulielma Lister, niece of the famous Lord Lister. The report was published in the Essex Naturalist (Vol. 27) as "THE FLORA OF WANSTEAD PARK DISTRICT by GULIELMA LISTER, F.L.S." .

In the report she lists 30 species found there and mentions how the turf retains some former flora which has gradually disappeared from the adjacent Forest, and that these are disappearing as the graves increase. Plants mentioned include Harebell, Petty-whin, Creeping Willow, Bedstraw, Mat-grass and Wavy Aira.

In visits made in the early 1990's it was seen that these fears were justified: Harebell, Petty-whin, and Creeping Willow were not found, although 72 species were. Devil's-bit scabious Succisa pratensis was noted on a visit made on 20/07/2005, as was Tormentil Potentilla erecta. The list below shows these, with an indication (L.1941) of those that were mentioned by Lister. For her list, comprising all the plants of the area, click here.

Management work carried out over the years by Les Rice, a member of the Wren Conservation Group and the Newham Conservation Volunteers, may have given an opportunity for some of the missing species to re-appear, and indeed many others are doubtless present that have been overlooked.

 

Plants found in The Graveyard of the Society of Friends, Bush Wood

("L.1941") indicates that the species was mentioned by Gulielma Lister in her work dated 1941)

"Stace" relates to the page number in The New Flora of the British Isles by Clive Stace, 2nd edition

Stace
Scientific Name
Common Name
Date Recorded
Lister's Record
21 Pteridium aquilinum Bracken 1990; 25/07/2016  
49 Chamaecyparis lawsoniana Lawson's Cypress 1990; 25/07/2016 (L.1941)
51 Araucaria araucana Monkey-puzzle 1990 (L.1941)
51 Taxus baccata Yew 1990; 25/07/2016  
120 Fagus sylvatica Ash 1990   
121 Quercus robur Pedunculate Oak 1990  (L.1941)
124 Betula pendula Silver Birch 1990; 20/07/2005 (var. laciniata)  
127 Carpinus betulus Hornbeam 1990; 25/07/2016  
162 Stellaria media Common Chickweed 1990  
163 Stellaria graminea Lesser Stitchwort 1990; 25/07/2016   
167 Sagina procumbens Procumbent Pearlwort 1990  
210 Tilia x europaea Common Lime 1990  
299 Lysimachia nemorum Yellow Pimpernel 1990  
300 Lysimachia nummularia Creeping Jenny 1990  
300 Anagallis arvensis Scarlet Pimpernel 1990  
313 Sedum album White Stonecrop 1990  
334 Rubus idaeus Raspberry 1990  
335 Rubus sect. Glandulosus Bramble 1990; 25/07/2016   
335 Rubus laciniatus Cut-leaved Bramble 1990  
344 Potentilla erecta Tormentil 1990; 25/07/2016  (L.1941)
344 Potentilla reptans Creeping Cinquefoil 1990; 25/07/2016   
370 Sorbus aucuparia Rowan 1990  
374 Sorbus aria Whitebeam 1990  
397 Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn 1990 (L.1941)
401 Robinia pseudoacacia Locust Tree 1990; 25/07/2016   
406 Lotus corniculatus Birdsfoot-trefoil 1990; 25/07/2016  (L.1941)
414 Lathyrus pratensis Meadow Vetchling 1990; 25/07/2016  
420 Medicago lupulina Black Medick 1990  
425 Trifolium repens White Clover 1990  
427 Trifolium dubium Lesser Yellow Trefoil 1990  
433 Cytisus scoparius Broom 1990  
448 Chamerion angustifolium Rosebay Willow-herb 1990 (L.1941)
452 Circaea lutetiana Enchanter's Nightshade 1990; 25/07/2016   
454 Aucuba japonica Spotted Laurel 1990  (L.1941)
456 Ilex aquifolium Holly 1990 (L.1941)
461 Euphorbia helioscopia Sun Spurge 1990  
470 Acer pseudoplatanus Sycamore 1990  
490 Hedera helix Ivy 1990; 25/07/2016  (L.1941)
501 Anthriscus sylvestris Cow Parsley 1990  
525 Vinca minor Lesser Periwinkle 1990  
531 Solanum dulcamara Bittersweet 1990  
562 Lamium maculatum Spotted Dead-nettle 1990  
560 Lamium album White Dead-nettle 1990  
567 Prunella vulgaris Self-Heal 1990  
583 Plantago major Great Plantain 1990  
584 Plantago lanceolata Ribwort Plantain 1990  
587 Syringa vulgaris Lilac 1990  
600 Digitalis purpurea Foxglove 1990; 25/07/2016   
647 Galium mollugo Hedge Bedstraw 1990   
651 Sambucus nigra Elder 1990 (L.1941)
652 Viburnum tinus Lauristinus 1990  
652 Symphoricarpos albus Snowberry 1990   
662 Succisa pratensis Devil's-bit Scabious 1990; 20/07/2005 (L.1941)
678 Cirsium arvense Creeping Thistle 1990  
683 Centaurea nigra Black Knapweed 1990; 25/07/2016  
684 Lapsana communis Nipplewort 1990  
686 Hypochaeris radicata Common Cat's-ear 1990  
688 Tragopogon pratensis Goat's-beard 1990  
698 Taraxacum sect. Ruderalia Dandelion 1990  
702 Pilosella officinarum Mouse-ear Hawkweed 1990  
705 Hieracium umbellatum Leafy Hawkweed 1990  
725 Conyza canadensis Canadian Fleabane 1990  
728 Bellis perennis Daisy 1990  
732 Achillea millefolium Yarrow 1990; 20/07/2016  
740 Senecio jacobaea Common Ragwort 1990; 20/07/2016  
740 Senecio squalidus Oxford Ragwort 1990  
740 Senecio vulgaris Groundsel 1990  
791 Luzula campestris Field wood-rush 1990 (L.1941)
858 Poa annua Annual Meadow Grass 1990  
868 Deschampsia flexuosa Wavy Hair-grass 1990 (L.1941)
871 Anthoxanthum odoratum Sweet Vernal Grass 1990  
929 Convallaria majalis Lily-of-the-valley 1990  
934 Hyacinthoides non-scripta Bluebell 1990  

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