Putney's newest gym appears to have extended the gym to include Putney Old Burial Ground for Saturday circuit training classes according to their promotional video on the gym's website running on YouTube:
The site is owned by the Church of England Southwark
Diocese, but managed and maintained by Wandsworth
Borough Council. In 2010 Wandsworth Council produced a Management Plan for the site in which it described the site as:
' .. essentially a small “sitting out” area, and provides a destination to walk to and an area for local workers to have lunch in. Passive use of the area contributes to the well being of visitors.'
The video shows the class training circuit style around the area led by Gavin 'The Fitness Whisperer' Sunshine - which can not be described as 'passive use'. A spokesman for Wandsworth Council said: “We have not given them permission to do this and we never would. This is a burial ground not a fitness centre so we would like them to cease these activities immediately.”
Putney Old Burial Ground was donated as a gift to the parish by Rev Roger Pettiward & consecrated in 1763. The graveyard around the Parish Church of St Mary’s had become full by this time. It fell to the Putney Burial Board to maintain the burial ground. The site contains a number of interesting historical tombs including a monument to Harriet Thomson, a Coade stone chest tomb with a medallion featuring a mourning woman, and several brick altar tombs. A small brick built mortuary building remains on the site adjacent to buildings on Upper Richmond Road.
The Burial Ground was closed for burial in 1854. It was made into a garden
and opened to the public in 1886 but the tombstones were not moved. In
2008 Wandsworth Wandsworth Council completed a £43,000 project to
restore several eighteenth century tombs that are all highly architectural in
style, some elaborately carved with classical roundels, swags and skulls.