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Dark Destiny - Brompton

Brompton Cemetery

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Brompton Indepth

Brompton Cemetery is located near Earl's Court in West Brompton, a part of the Borough of Kensington & Chelsea in west London, England. It is managed by The Royal Parks and is one of the Magnificent Seven.
 
While the cemetery is still open for occasional new burials, today more people use it as a public park than as a place for mourning the dead.
 
It has featured in a number of films, including The Wisdom of Crocodiles (starring Jude Law), Crush (Imelda Staunton and Andie MacDowell) and "Johnny English" (starring Rowan Atkinson); as well as being used as a location by photographers such as Bruce Weber.
 
History
 
The cemetery was opened as part of an initiative in the mid-19th century to provide seven large, modern cemeteries (sometimes called the 'Magnificent Seven') in a ring round the outside of London of which Highgate Cemetery was another example. The inner-city cemeteries, mostly the graveyards attached to individual churches, had long been unable to cope with the number of burials and were seen as a hazard to health and an undignified way to treat the dead.
 
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), reached by long colonnades, and flanked by catacombs. The chapel is dated 1839.
 
Nutkins gravestone
 
Beatrix Potter, who lived in The Boltons nearby, took the names of many of her animal characters from tombstones in the cemetery and it is said that Mr McGregor's walled garden was based on the colonnades. Names on headstones included Mr Nutkins, Mr McGregor, a Tod (with that unusual single 'd' spelling), Jeremiah Fisher, Tommy Brock - and even a Peter Rabbett.

Situated virtually next door to the Earl's Court Exhibition Center, The West London and Westminster Cemetery Company, as it was known, was established in 1836.
 
Designed by Benjamin Baud, the cemetery has a formal layout with listed buildings, monuments and a chapel, based on St Peter's Basilica in Rome.
 
Brompton has an extensive set of catacombs most of which are below impressive ornate colonnades. In general the cemetery appears in extremely good condition and very little evidence of vandalism is visible, the only thing that detracts from the overall impressiveness is the councils insistence on wrapping any monument which leans more then five degrees, in red and white striped tape. This distracts from the overall picture of the cemetery's formal layout and is a tax on its appearance.
 
Unfortunately it would also seem that the Catacombs have not escaped unwanted attention. It would appear that Brompton may have fell victim to the deplorable lead thief's. In the 1960's and 70's there were gangs lurking by night who would strip the lead from the thousands of Victorian coffins which occupied the many London Catacombs.
 
Sadly in more recent restoration projects such as at Nunhead, it was found that many skulls were missing also. The theft of the skulls is thought to date back to the Victorian era when anatomical research made a human skull a valuable asset.
 
Travel
 
South Gate off Fulham Rd. North Gate off Old Brompton Rd.
 
Tube:
West Brompton - District Line (Wimbledon branch)
 
Bus:
14, 74, 190, 211, 328, 414, 430, C1, C3 all operate near Brompton Cemetery.
 
Parking available on site for grave grant holders only.

Brompton Cemetery
Fulham Road
London
SW10 9UG

Famous occupants:
 
Tomasz Arciszewski - Polish socialist politician
 
William Edward Ayrton - British physicist
 
Samuel Baker - founder of Sotheby's auction house
 
Sir Squire Bancroft - actor and theatre impressario
 
Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh - Russian Orthodox emigré metropolitan archbishop and author
 
Joseph Bonomi the Younger - sculptor, artist, Egyptologist and museum curator
 
George Borrow - author, traveler and linguist
 
Fanny Brawne - John Keats' muse
 
Sir James Browne - engineer
 
Francis Trevelyan Buckland - zoologist
 
Henry James Byron - actor and dramatist
 
William Martin Cafe - Indian Mutiny hero and VC recipient
 
Marchesa Luisa Casati - infamous Italian muse, eccentric and patron of the arts
 
William Cargill - politician and founder of Otago, New Zealand
 
John Graham Chambers - founder of the Amateur Athletic Association
 
Henry Cole - founder of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Royal
Albert Hall, the Royal College of Music, the 1851 Great Exhibition and inventor of the Christmas card
 
William Crookes - chemist and physicist
 
Samuel Cunard - founder of the Cunard Line
 
Charles Fremantle - founded the Swan River Colony (Western Australia)
 
John William Godward - painter
 
George Goldie - "founded" Nigeria
 
Brian Glover - television and film actor
 
Geraldine Jewsbury - writer
 
William Claude Kirby - first chairman of Chelsea Football Club
 
Constant Lambert - composer and conductor
 
Percy E. Lambert - racing car driver
 
Nat Langham - middleweight bare-knuckle fighter
 
Long Wolf - Sioux Indian chief
 
Henry Augustus Mears - founder of Chelsea Football Club
 
Henrietta Moraes - writer, artist's model and muse to Francis Bacon
 
Roderick Murchison - geologist, originator of the Silurian system
 
Adelaide Neilson - English actress
 
Emmeline Pankhurst - Britain's leading suffragette
 
Percy Sinclair Pilcher - Inventor and pioneering aviator
 
Blanche Roosevelt - American opera singer and author
 
Tim Rose - American singer-songwriter
 
Samuel Smiles - biographer and inventor of "self-help"
 
Ethel Smyth - classical composer and suffragette
 
John Snow - anesthesiologist and epidemiologist, demonstrated the link between cholera and infected water
 
Arthur Sullivan - (not the composer (of Gilbert & Sullivan fame) but one of his less-famous musical relations)
 
Richard Tauber - operatic tenor
 
Ernest Thesiger - character actor in such films as The Old Dark House and Bride of Frankenstein
 
Frederic Thesiger - 1st Baron Chelmsford - jurist and statesman
 
Brandon Thomas - author of Charley's Aunt
 
Frederic Augustus Thesiger - 2nd Baron Chelmsford - Commander-in-Chief in the Zulu War
 
Charles Blacker Vignoles - an influential early railway engineer, the Vignoles rail.
 
Richard Wadeson - VC recipient
 
Edward Wadsworth - artist
 
Thomas Attwood Walmisley - composer and organist.
 
Sir Robert Warburton - Anglo-Indian soldier and administrator
 
Reginald Alexander John Warneford - VC recipient
 
Sir Philip Watts - British naval architect, designer of the Elswick cruiser and the HMS Dreadnought.
 
Sir Andrew Scott Waugh - British army officer and surveyor, who named the highest mountain in the world after Sir George Everest
 
Benjamin Nottingham Webster - actor, theatre manager and playwright.
 
Sir Thomas Spencer Wells - surgeon to Queen Victoria, medical professor and president of the Royal College of Surgeons
 
Sir William Fenwick Williams - general, pasha and governor
 
John Wisden - cricketer and founder ofWisden Cricketers' Almanack
 
Bennet Woodcroft - textile manufacturer, industrial archaeologist, pioneer of marine propulsion, prime mover in patent reform and the first clerk to the commissioners of patents
 
Thomas Wright - antiquarian and writer
 
Johannes Zukertort - chess master