Brompton Cemetery (London, United Kingdom)

Brompton Cemetery
Brompton Cemetery, consecrated by the Bishop of London in June 1840, is one of the Britain's oldest and most distinguished garden cemeteries.

About the Cemetery

The 39-acre (16 hectare) site lies between Old Brompton and Fulham Roads, on the western border of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, then a distant suburb and now a populous and diverse community in the heart of London.

Brompton Cemetery's principal buildings were designed by Benjamin Baud, under the influence of his long association with royal architect Sir Jeffry Wyatville. Time, money and a difference of opinion conspired against the completion of Baud's grand design, but the site still embodies the vision of the cemetery as an open air cathedral, with the tree-lined Central Avenue as its nave, and the domed Chapel, in honey-coloured Bath Stone, as its high altar.

Two long colonnades embrace the Great Circle, reputedly inspired by the piazza of St. Peter's in Rome, and shelter catacombs beneath. Narrower paths run like aisles parallel to main axis, shaded by an array of mature trees. Many of these, like the limes on Central Avenues, are as old as the cemetery itself. Specimen plantings have survived in the shelter of the walled site to create the ideal model of the urban garden cemetery as a country park in miniature.

In an area with few green spaces or outdoor recreational facilities, the cemetery offers an oasis in all seasons, with paths for walkers and cyclists, and hours of diversion for historians, genealogists, naturalists and connoisseurs of memorial art and sculpture. Brompton Cemetery is managed by The Royal Parks, under contract from the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and is thus Britain's only Crown Cemetery.

Some 35.000 monuments, from simple headstones to substantial mausolea, now mark the resting place of more than 205.000 burials. The site includes large plots for family mausolea, and common graves where coffins are piled deep into the earth, as well as a small columbarium. Brompton was closed to burials between 1952 and 1996, but is once again a working cemetery, with plots for interments and a Garden of Remembrance for the deposit of cremated remains.

Famous people buried in the cemetery

The famous include epidemiologist Dr. John Snow, suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, tenor Richard Tauber, author George Borrow, critic Bernard Levin, V&A founder Henry Cole, cricketer John Wisden, Egyptologist Joseph Bonomi, novelist George Henty, shipping magnate Sir Samuel Cunard, colonialist Admiral Sir Charles Fremantle, playwright Walter Brandon Thomas, composer Constant Lambert, auctioneer Samuel Leigh Sotheby, and no less than 12 recipients of the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest award for military gallantry.

Friends of Brompton Cemetery  

The Friends of Brompton Cemetery work to preserve this remarkable site as a model of an historic cemetery with an active role in modern society. We help to restore and maintain the cemetery's buildings, monuments and landscape, and encourage their full use by those sympathetic to the importance, beauty, heritage and fragility of this significant cemetery. We offer visitors Sunday afternoon tours, guidebooks, maps and postcard.


The Friends of Brompton Cemetery
South Lodge
Brompton Cemetery
Fulham Road
London SW10 9UG
United Kingdom


020 7351 1689

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