A Guide to Brookwood Cemetery
John M. Clarke
Published by Stenlake Publishing on 12 June 2018
Hardback, with 344 pages, and over 130 illustrations
You can order direct from here (post free in the UK)
I am delighted to announce that having been out of print for many years, a new edition of my major guide to Brookwood Cemetery is now available.
Originally published to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Brookwood Cemetery, London's Necropolis: A Guide to Brookwood Cemetery is the only major history and guide to Brookwood Cemetery.
Brookwood was the largest burial ground in the world when it was opened in 1854 by the London Necropolis & National Mausoleum Company. Designed on a massive scale with avenues of sequoia, its own private railway and majestic planting, Brookwood is one of Surrey’s best-
The cemetery contains nearly 235,000 burials and although privately owned when the original edition appeared, it is now owned and managed by Woking Borough Council.
This is the long-
Nine chapters deal with specific areas or sections of the cemetery plus there are appendices on missing persons, the principal cemetery staff and burial statistics. The author brings the text to life with hundreds and hundreds of potted histories of the occupants. The editor of the book found himself going to Wikipedia to find out more about the colourful lives of those buried here. It may seem strange to observe that all human life is here, but as such a huge cemetery, containing thousands of the dead of a diverse metropolis, it has to be so.
London's Necropolis provides a history of the London Necropolis Company, a guide to the art and architecture of Brookwood Cemetery, and includes brief biographies of over 800 individuals of interest who have been buried there, reflecting all levels of a lost society.
Each chapter is supported by maps, and there are nearly 140 black and white photographs and line drawings to illustrate some of the most interesting memorials and cemetery structures. For the first time this edition identifies and describes all the mausoleums at Brookwood, including some that have been demolished.
Contents of the 2nd edition
Foreword by Julian W. S. Litten
Chapter 1: The London Necropolis Company and Brookwood Cemetery
Chapter 2: The Eastern Part of the Former Anglican Section
Chapter 3: St Cyprian’s Avenue
Chapter 4: St Chad’s and St George’s Avenues
Chapter 5: St Margaret’s Avenue and the ‘Ring’
Chapter 6: The ‘Gridiron’
Chapter 7: The Glades of Remembrance and the Cemetery Boundary
Chapter 8: The Eastern Part of the Former Nonconformist Section
Chapter 9: The Western Part of the Former Nonconformist Section
Chapter 10: The Military and Muslim Sections
Some reviews of the new edition of London’s Necropolis
From the Ancient Monuments Society Newsletter, Autumn 2018, p.56.
“Published originally to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the cemetery, it has now been reprinted in a brand new edition. Brookwood was the largest burial ground in the world when it was opened in 1854 by the London Necropolis and National Mausoleum Company. Designed on a massive scale with avenues of sequoia, it had its own private railway. It contains nearly 235,000 burials and, although privately owned when the original edition appeared, it is now in the hands of Woking Borough Council. There is a history of the company, a guide to the art and architecture of the cemetery and brief biographies of over 800 individual who are buried there. For the first time this edition identifies and describes all the mausolea at Brook wood including some that have been demolished.”
From Newsletter 94, Friends of West Norwood Cemetery, January 2019, pp. 12-
“This book is the definitive guide to Brookwood, the largest burial ground in the world when opened by the London Necropolis & National Mausoleum Company in 1854. Designed with avenues of sequoia and its own internal railway connected to the London and South Western Railway line to Southampton, funeral trains ran regularly from the Company’s own station near Waterloo to stations within the cemetery until the 1940s. Now owned and managed by Woking Borough Council, the cemetery contains nearly 235,000 burials. In 1917 an area to the north of the cemetery was set aside for men and women of Commonwealth forces who died, many of battle wounds, in the London district. This site was further extended to accommodate Commonwealth casualties of the Second World War, and is now but one of several military cemeteries at Brookwood.
“It is no exaggeration to say that our knowledge of Brookwood owes much to the efforts of FoWNC Deputy-
“The contrast with Norwood is best summarized by the observation that private burials (burials in private graves) did not reach 10% of total burials at Brookwood until the early 1900s, and ‘pauper’ burials (burials paid for from public funds) remained at 75% of annual burials until this time. There are some Norwood connections, however. Although John has found no evidence to support the widely-
As to individuals, the novelist Dennis Yates Wheatley (1897-
One Brookwood burial that has always puzzled me is that of Allan Octavian Hume (1829-