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Monument to Tigran Sarkies, Kensal Green Cemetery

A Grade II Listed Building in College Park and Old Oak, London

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Latitude: 51.5272 / 51°31'37"N

Longitude: -0.2281 / 0°13'41"W

OS Eastings: 523016

OS Northings: 182408

OS Grid: TQ230824

Mapcode National: GBR BD.F60

Mapcode Global: VHGQR.0W84

Entry Name: Monument to Tigran Sarkies, Kensal Green Cemetery

Listing Date: 3 April 2012

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1403624

Location: Hammersmith and Fulham, London, NW10

County: London

District: Hammersmith and Fulham

Electoral Ward/Division: College Park and Old Oak

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Hammersmith and Fulham

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Martin Kensal Rise

Church of England Diocese: London

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Portland stone monument in the form of paired, Tuscan columns, early C20.


The monument comprises a pair of Tuscan columns supporting a plain entablature with a very deep moulded cornice, set on a tall rectangular base enriched with a pair of winged putti in low relief. The centrepiece, which breaks forward, bore an urn or figure which is now missing.


Tigran Sarkies (1861-1912) was part of a family of hoteliers who between the 1880s and the early-C20 founded several of East Asia's best known luxury hotels. Born into a prominent Persian-Armenian trading family from Isfahan (now in Iran), Tigran and his older brother Martin established the Eastern Hotel in George Town, Penang (1884) and re-founded the Oriental Hotel in the same city (1889). Later joined by their younger brothers Aviet and Arshak, they went on to establish several more hotels in the Malacca Straits area, including the famous Raffles Hotel, Singapore (1887) and the Strand Hotel, Rangoon (1901).

The Cemetery of All Souls at Kensal Green was the earliest of the large privately-run cemeteries established on the fringes of London to relieve pressure on overcrowded urban churchyards. Its founder George Frederick Carden intended it as an English counterpart to the great Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, which he had visited in 1821. In 1830, with the financial backing of the banker Sir John Dean Paul, Carden established the General Cemetery Company, and two years later an Act of Parliament was obtained to develop a 55-acre site at Kensal Green, then among open fields to the west of the metropolis. An architectural competition was held, but the winning entry – a Gothic scheme by HE Kendall – fell foul of Sir John's classicising tastes, and the surveyor John Griffith of Finsbury was eventually employed both to lay out the grounds and to design the Greek Revival chapels, entrance arch and catacombs, which were built between 1834 and 1837. A sequence of royal burials, beginning in 1843 with that of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, ensured the cemetery’s popularity. It is still administered by the General Cemetery Company, assisted since 1989 by the Friends of Kensal Green.

Reasons for Listing

The tomb of Tigran Sarkies is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
*Architectural and artistic interest: unusual early-C20 neoclassical composition, executed to a high standard;
* Historic interest: association with the Sarkies family of hoteliers, who founded a chain of luxury hotels in south-east Asia in the late-C19 and early-C20 including the famous Raffles Hotel at Singapore;
* Group value: with other listed monuments within the Grade I registered Kensal Green Cemetery.

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