U.K. based Deceased Online says the registers for the Cemetery are held at The National Archives (TNA) and Deceased Online digitally scanned all of these within the TNA building in Kew, South West London. Continue reading to learn the history of Brompton Cemetery and see the list of famous people interred, including Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst:

Brompton Cemetery, consecrated by the Bishop of London in June 1840, is one of 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 in South West London, on the western border of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, then a distant suburb but now a populous and diverse community in the heart of London.

Brompton Cemetery is one of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ London cemeteries constructed during the 1830’s and 1840’s to relieve overcrowded burial grounds. The others are: Abney Park, Highgate, Kensal Green, Nunhead, Tower Hamlets and West Norwood. Brompton is the first and only of these to have had all its records digitized and made available through any website, Deceased Online. We do hope to add others in the near future.

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.

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 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.

Records on Deceased Online

The registers for the Cemetery are held at The National Archives (TNA) and Deceased Online digitally scanned all of these within the TNA building in Kew, South West London.

The complete record collection will comprise approximately 205,000 burials for the period 1840 to 2004. Deceased Online has both registers and grave details for all of these and, in addition, also includes section maps to help locate graves (even those without memorials) and some photographs of monuments, memorials and headstones.

There are some 35,000 monuments (although many are now illegible), from simple headstones to mortuary chapels, of which 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.

There are many famous and celebrated individuals interred in the Cemetery. They include:

  • Epidemiologist Dr. John Snow
  • Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst
  • Tenor Richard Tauber
  • Author George Borrow
  • Critic and journalist Bernard Levin
  • V&A founder Henry Cole
  • Cricketer/publisher John Wisden (of Wisden Almanack fame)
  • 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
  • Actor/wrestler Brian Glover
  • Exiled Polish wartime leader Tomasz Arciszewski
  • No less than 12 recipients of the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest award for military gallantry.

Brompton Cemetery is supported and protected by local charity The Friends of Brompton Cemetery. The Friends provide a range of fascinating tours, events and publications about the Cemetery and can be contacted through the website link. They have worked closely with Deceased Online and we thank them for their advice, assistance and cooperation and much of the detail and history above.

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