Autumn walk through Brompton cemetery

Brompton cemetery, built in 1840, is one of London’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ garden cemeteries (the others are Kensal Green, West Norwood, Highgate, Abney Park, Nunhead  and the Tower Hamlets Cemeteries, all established between 1832-1841)

It contains 35,000 monuments from lavish mausoleum to simple headstones, symbolic statues to plain crosses. It’s mostly well maintained, but the edges of the cemetery are overgrown and wild…

The October clouds and falling leaves added to the atmosphere, as well as seeing a woman with autumn leaves in her hair gathering berries (above).

Brompton is the only cemetery in the country owned by the crown (located as it is in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea), and is managed day to day by The Royal Parks.


Designed by Benjamin Baud, the winner of a competition held at the time, his plans were to create the cemetery as a kind of open air cathedral made up of  a ‘nave’ (Central Avenue) running to an ‘alter’ (the domed Chapel) though the Great Circle with its colonnades and catacombs.

Inhabitants of the cemetery include Emmeline Pankhurst (Suffragette leader), Dr John Snow (doctor who discovered cause of Cholera), Joseph Bonomi (Archaeologist & Egyptologist) and ‘Gentleman’ John Jackson (boxer) as well as (now repatriated) members of the Sioux tribe (who took part in the European tour of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show) and people whose family names (Mr. Nutkins, Mr. McGregor, Jeramiah Fisher and Peter Rabbett) inspired Beatrix Potter to create her fictional characters when she lived nearby.

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Map of notable inhabitants of Brompton Cemetery

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