Two summers ago we took a trip to London, and we made a point to check out the Brompton Cemeterey.
This Cemetery is one of the "beautiful seven" founded in 1839, Brompton Cemetery was designed by Benjamin Baud and has at its centre a modest domed chapel (in the style of the basilica of St. Peter's in Rome) at it southern end, reached by long colonnades, and flanked by catacombs.
The chapel is dated 1839. The site, previously market gardens, was bought from Lord Kensington and is 39 acres (160,000 m2) in area. The cemetery is designed to give the feel of a large open air cathedral.
It is rectangular in shape with the north end pointing to the northwest and the south end to the southeast.
It has a central “nave” which runs from Old Brompton Road towards the central colonnade and chapel. We were not sure what to expect when trying to navigate the correct subways and buses, but when we arrived we were very excited to say the least!
It is a fine example of an urban Victorian cemetery and has a formal layout of paths and walkways that lead to a central chapel modelled after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Like Highgate Cemetery, Brompton Cemetery was commissioned in the mid 1800s in a plan to construct fine cemeteries around the edge of London to cope with the rising population and death rate that was overtaxing the existing city graveyards.
Brompton Cemetery is not just the final resting place for many Londoners; it is also a haven for wildlife. Its quiet park like setting makes it an ideal home for all kinds of wildlife; foxes, squirrels, butterflies, and many varieties of birds can be seen living at the cemetery.
One interesting fact is that Beatrix Potter lived near the cemetery and took many of the names of her animal characters from the tombstones. Search the headstones and you may find Mr. Nutkins, Mr. McGregor, and even a Peter Rabbett in residence at the cemetery.
me and mate Sherlock!
Where we live, they don't have marvelous old cemeteries of this sort, and even though this isn't the most ancient of graveyards, we had a great time walking around reading the tombstones and soaking in the atmosphere of this peaceful inner city retreat.
I loved the way soft, tall grasses had grown up and covered everything, and how the roots of the huge trees had pushed the tombstones up at different angles.
On the way back we stopped by Sherlock Holmes' house! It was very narrow and awesome, I was pretty stoked a couple years later when the Sherlock Holmes movie came out and they spent considerable screen time poking around in the Brompton Cemetery itself.
Here are some of our snaps from the cemetary, enjoy!