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Fancy exploring somewhere a little different in London? A world away from the bright lights of the city, West London is home to Brompton Cemetery, a Grade I listed historic graveyard and sacred place that is open to visitors and is popular as a quiet place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Brompton Cemetery opened in 1840 and is one of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ London cemeteries which also includes Highgate Cemetery. It is managed by Royals Parks and is free to visit although due to the ongoing covid19 restrictions (as at September 2020), there are restrictions on some parts of the interior buildings including visiting the chapel.
As you would expect from such a revered and historic site, there are 40 acres of grounds to walk around, consisting of tombs, mausoleums, crosses and sculptures. There are over 35,000 graves and monuments here along with over 200,000 burial plots. The cemetery is still open today for burials and relatives of those who are buried here so please be respectful of your surroundings and those around you.
We visited on a late summer’s afternoon in early September 2020 when the leaves were slowly starting to turn towards autumn. The cemetery was fairly busy with a mix of joggers, photographers, tourists and those out to pay their respects. We also discovered what a haven for wildlife it could be, with lots of squirrels running around the graves as well as lots of birds.
Possibly the most iconic building here (which you’ll often see featured in photographs or in movies shot here) is the domed Brompton Cemetery Chapel, which lies at the end of a tree lined avenue and was built in 1842. The eight sided structure is said to be representative of life on earth while the high rooftop is a nod towards ‘heaven’. The chapel is grade II listed and underwent considerable restoration work in 2017. The interiors are said to be stunning but it was closed to the public on our most recent visit.
Brompton Park Cafe
The cemetery also has a modern cafe by the North Lodge entrance gate closest to Earl’s Court – it has a large outdoor dining terrace overlooking the park and a light and open space interior. When we visited, all the outdoor tables were taken with people having tea and coffee so it looks to be a popular place.
Filming and films at Brompton Cemetery
West Brompton Cemetery is sometimes open late in the evenings for special events like outdoor cinema screenings showing horror movies, or late night spook-taculars.
West Brompton Cemetery is also a popular filming location, having featured in movies such as James Bond (Goldeneye), Johnny English, Sherlock Holmes (with Robert Downey Jr) and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Most recently, Guy Ritchie’s 2019 The Gentlemen was also partially set here.
Directions / Getting to Brompton Cemetery
The nearest tube to Brompton Cemetery is the West Brompton
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