Putney's newest gym appears to have extended to include Putney Old Burial Ground for Saturday circuit training classes according to their promotional video on the gym's web site.
A group from the Daley Thompson Fitness Group are shown exercising in the graveyard in a clip on YouTube.
In response to negative press and residents comments Daley Thompson Fitess Group has tweeted :
Earlier a spokesman for Wandsworth Council confirmed that these outdoor classes were not authorised, saying, “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.”
One regular Putney forum contributor posted, "I'm quite shocked at the thoughtless disrespect of everybody who actually participated in this. The staff taking them there was bad enough, but for not one of the participants to have any sense of decency at the location is absolutely dreadful, any of them could have said no, this isn't acceptable. People can be extremely disappointing."
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.'
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.
Putney Old Burial Ground
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.