Thursday, 10 January 2008

Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery covers 16.5 hectares and is one of the finest cemeteries in the country. Brompton Cemetery is managed by The Royal Parks under contract from the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Located in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, it is the only Crown Cemetery.
The West London and Westminster Cemetery Company, as it was known, was established in 1836, and then opened in 1840 to the design of Benjamin Baud. Regarded as one of the finest Victorian Metropolitan cemeteries in the country, it has a formal layout with a central avenue leading to a chapel based on St Peter's Basilica in Rome. Amongst its shady walks are over 35,000 monuments - many of historical importance. Buried at the cemetery are people from all walks of life, including thirteen holders of the Victorian Cross, Chelsea Pensioners and the community of West London. The cemetery provides a rare haven of peace, beauty and tranquillity.
After the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, London became the world's commercial capital. Its population increased from one million in 1800 to over 2.6 million by 1850. Consequently the inadequate sanitary conditions led to endemic disease and the existing burial grounds were unable to cope. Parliament authorised the establishment of seven commercial cemeteries around London, of which Brompton is an outstanding example. It was known as the West of London and Westminster Cemetery.
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