Dark skys over Brompton Brompton in the autumn Rear view of Brompton Chapel Brompton in the snow Angel wings over Brompton

The Friends of Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Chapel, Harris monument
Brompton Cemetery, consecrated by the Bishop of London in June 1840, is one of the Britain's oldest and most distinguished garden cemeteries. The cemetery is Grade I Listed on the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. 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 Chapel
Tall trees in 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 postcards.
Brompton Chapel under snow
Brompton Cemetery grand plan
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 strong opinions 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. The Chapel, colonnades and Brompton Road gate are all now Grade II* Listed.
Central Avenue
Brompton Cemetery colonnade
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.
Brompton in the autumn
Deodar cedar, Brompton Cemetery
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.
Brompton crow
Brompton angel
Some 35,000 monuments, from simple headstones to mortuary chapels, mark some 205,000 burials. Of these monuments, 27 are Grade II Listed, and one — the Leyland tomb by Edward Burne-Jones – is Grade II*. The cemetery embraces all, from large plots for family mausolea to common graves, 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.
Urn at sunset
Anderson monument
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.
Warneford monument

The Friends of Brompton Cemetery help to expand public awareness and enjoyment of this marvellous space. To this end, the Friends offer a variety of events including regular Sunday afternoon tours, an annual Open Day, lectures and themed walks, and private tours by arrangement, as well as a range of guidebooks, maps, postcards and other literature. We often have a volunteer in the South Lodge to answer enquiries and sell literature during the week. The Friends' noticeboards, near the Old Brompton Road and Fulham Road entrances, display current information about tours, events and other items of interest to Friends and other visitors to the cemetery.

Photos © Robert Stephenson & Signe Hoffos

© The Friends of Brompton Cemetery // UK Registered Charity No. 298605