Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gore Cemetery

Gore Cemetery on Trafalgar Street was set aside in 1834 to be used as a pioneer burial ground.  Originally part of London Township, the cemetery has become surrounded by the ever-expanding London. The city-owned property, closed to burials since 1954, is now protected with metal fencing and padlocked.

The Historic Sites Committee of London Public Library has been researching the site with the intention of erecting an historic plaque. To that end, groups of historians have been allowed to enter the grounds and look around. The investigators noted broken and chipped markers, as well as stones obscured by vegetation - in particular, a large mulberry tree.

The plantings could be a problem. The roots of the trees and bushes may cause the cairn to heave and break underneath while the shade provided by the mulberry promotes dampness detrimental to masonry and stone. Organic matter accumulates inside the walls, holding moisture in and producing an unkempt appearance which promotes vandalism.

The cemetery has been restored in the past, which accounts for the gravestones having been moved from their original positions and set into a concrete cairn. This mid-twentieth century trend was an alternative to repairing markers in situ. But the reconfiguration means there's no way of knowing where specific persons are actually buried.

Overall, when one considers the restructuring, wear and tear, broken stones, and greenery at this site, it's a far cry from the way it must have looked in pioneer days. One can only hope another restoration project will take place in the near future.


  1. Hi there well I live right beside the cemetery and I would love to be able to go in and look at the head stones. Do you know how someone could do such thing?

    1. I would contact the City of London and ask if you can be admitted.

  2. I grew up on this street and climbed the fence many times. The site was vandalled alot back then and we would try to tidy up. Never knew the name of the cemetary so thanks for that. I remember alot of children.

  3. OGS London Middlesex branch inventoried the stones some time ago
    transcribing the readable inscriptions and typing them up. Try the London
    Room at Central Library on Dundas for the cemetery's entry in the Society's
    Green Books. Some interesting surnames.
    It's About time the property was included in the LPL Board's Historic Sites
    plaque program..in its 45th year from the date 1969 on one now returned
    when structure to which it was attached to ceased to be.
    Quota seems to be about 2 plaques a year.

  4. How would I find a record of burial for a David Young, who died 1917. His death record states he is buried in the Gore Cemetery, London, Middlesex, Ontario.

  5. Hello, I have 6 known ancestors buried at this cemetery and would be very interested in receiving any information or updates that you may have. I have been wanting to enter the grounds for some time but the gates have always been padlocked so finally today I entered the grounds via "over the fence" along with my 68 year old mother. The grounds surrounding the cairn are looked after however the cairn is badly neglected. We would personally be willing to upkeep the cairn if only we had a key to enter.

  6. My great great grandmother Jane Paisley 1774-1852 is buried in this cemetery and her tombstone has been photographed. I suspect that her husband Thomas Paisley 1791-1859 is also buried in Gore Cemetery although his tombstone probably was not found. Is there any way to find the records of the burials in this cemetery?

    1. Hello Shirley (and others above):
      The London Room, Central Public Library, has transcriptions of gravestones, courtesy of OGS and LDS members in September 1982. The London Room also has a sketch of the cemetery and plot plan for the original layout before the stones were moved. You might also try contacting the United Church of Canada Archives in Toronto.