Brompton Cemetery, London

In Cities, Days Out, London, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, UK Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

Amongst Heroines & Heroes

As I continue my unusual allure with cemeteries near and far, I find myself at one of London’s “Magnificent Seven”, Brompton Cemetery to be precise.

Brompton Cemetery was built in 1840, along with six other large private cemeteries during the 19th-century, this was to alleviate the overcrowding in London.

The most well-known of these I would think is Highgate cemetery (and yes that is on my list to visit).

Ornate headstones, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK
Overgrown in  places, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK

Some folks do find it strange that I enjoy wandering along mysterious pathways between crumbled headstones and neglected graves, but the history that can be found amongst the overgrown ivy is incredible.
 
Noble persons, heroes, rich and poor, all rubbing shoulders with each other and all once had a story to tell.

Ravens amongst the graves, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK

I must admit this isn’t something I would enjoy doing after dark!!!
 
When we arrived on a cold, wet January Sunday morning, Gary was with me every step of the way; however, as the rain turned to sleet and then light snow, the smiles were gradually waning. But not to be defeated, we discovered some intriguing stories and would love to share them with you.

A damp day in Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK

How to get there

The nearest station to Brompton Cemetery is West Brompton, which is an underground station on the District Line (That’s the green one) & national rail. This is a just a 2 minute walk from the North entrance.

Suffragette

Brompton Cemetery’s most famous resident must be, Emmeline Pankhurst. The unwavering lady who so selflessly stood up to women’s suffrage and significantly pathed the way, of women’s rights today.

Emmeline’s headstone is quite unassuming, and if you weren’t specifically looking out for it, it might easily be missed.

The grave of Emmeline Pankhurst - Suffragette, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK

“Gentleman Jackson”

John Jackson was a bare-knuckle pugilist during the late 18th-century, and after becoming “Champion of England”, he set up a boxing academy for gentlemen.

The tomb of Gentleman Jackson, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK

He became very popular with nobility, and when he died in 1845, a monument costing around £400 was provided by friends and admirers.

The monument is quite impressive and even has a lion on top.

The Victoria Cross

One headstone that did catch our eye was that of Flight Sub-Lieutenant Reginald Alexander John Warneford, which had an airship etched upon it.

He died at the age of 23 after receiving the Victoria Cross.

He is one on 12 VC holders. Individuals who have been recognised for their valour in battle.

Reginald Warneford - VC holder, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK

Operatic

Blanche Roosevelt, was an American opera singer, author and journalist. She joined the fashionable, and wonderfully named D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, before forming her own opera company.

An impressive statue of her stands in pride of place along Main Avenue.
 
In later years she spent much of her life in the South of France where she was involved in a horrific accident in a horse-drawn carriage. She never fully recovered from her injuries and died, aged 45, the following year in London.

The resting place of Blanche Roosevelt, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK

The Military Garden

Although there are several war graves around Brompton Cemetery, there is a dedicated section to the military.

The military section, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK

A railed & gated area with a mixture of headstones large and small many depicting their age rank and regiment, it’s quite moving.

Chelsea Pensioners

The Royal Hospital Chelsea, which is retirement and nursing home for veterans of the British army, has a dedicated area within the cemetery.

Here they have erected an obelisk in memory of the Pensioners buried within the grounds.

The Chelsea Pensioners monument, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK

Tempted to visit?

For a little bit more information take a look at the Royal Parks website.

One of a kind

Another eye-catching memorial was the Grade II listed funerary monument of Frederick Richards Leyland, who was a ship owner and art collector.

Monument to Frederick Richards Leyland, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK

The memorial designed by Edward Burne-Jones is the only Grade II listed monument in the cemetery.

Doctors & Scullers

Within Brompton is also the tomb of Dr Benjamin Golding, founder of Charing Cross Hospital.

This memorial can be found at the north end of Main Avenue.

The Family tomb of Dr Benjamin Golding, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK

Robert Coombes was a champion sculler and trained crews in the Oxford & Cambridge boat race.

Later in life, he fell into poverty. However, his friends paid for his unique tomb at Brompton. Which unfortunately has since been defaced.

Robert Coombes - champion sculler, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK

Colonnades & Catacombs

As you stroll along the main avenue, passing the colonnades and catacombs, there is a certain sense of wealth and honour amongst the memorials.

Many nationalities rest here, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK
Sacred places, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK
An Art Deco headstone, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK
An ornamental headstone, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK
Lost to time, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK

Point to Note

Brompton cemetery is very close to Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea football club, so, unless you are a Chelsea fan avoid match day.

On the Silver Screen

Brompton Cemetery may ring a bell with some of you, as it is occasionally used as a filming location. Particularly around the chapel and the central arched roundel.

A timeless place, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK

Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes”, starring Jude Law was one that may be familiar and also “Finding Neverland” with Johnny Depp & Kate Winslet.

The stone colonnades, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK

Or do you recognised it from “Mission Impossible: – Rouge Nation”?, or perhaps the cringe-worthy funeral scene in “Johnny English”.

It also featured in “James Bond: Goldeneye” from 1995

Quiet walkways, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UKGrand Designs, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK
The Main Avenue, Brompton Cemetery, London, England, UK

Inspired to visit Brompton Cemetery?

Inspired to visit one or all of London’s “Magnificent Seven”, there is so much history to be discovered.

Why not check out the latest deals for London on Booking.Com?

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Brompton Cemetery, London

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight.Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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Brompton Cemetery, London was last modified: January 28th, 2018 by Janis