West Brompton Cemetery - Fulham Rd, London SW10 9UG - WEBSITE
This is our first submission from London based CGT member, Ben Newson - instagram @benandonlyben
A quick Google search of London Cemeteries takes me straight to Highgate Cemetery, which, of course, deserves its reputation, but I like to seek out those places with a little less fanfare. Further down my search I found West Brompton Cemetery, a grade 1 listed, 39-acre plot, situated in South West London between South Kensington and Fulham.
I took a chance, jumped on the train and made my way to South Kensington Tube Station. There are closer travel links but when a go to a cemetery, I like to explore the surrounding area too.
Kensington has a reputation as London borough. Long tree lined avenues, flash cars and tall white washed Georgian homes. A blue plaque on the way marked the site of Beatrix Potter's home. She apparently was also a Graveyard enthusiast and took names for some of her best known characters from West Brompton Cemetery.
I was apprehensive as I approached the imposing black gates. This is a plush area I thought, there's no way this place will compare to Highgate. My concerns were immediately quashed as the first I saw was a Crow on a tombstone! My hand darted instinctively to my camera and I began snapping away, thinking 'Creepy Girl Travels are going to shit a brick!' The main avenue is perfect symmetry. A long stretch of tarmac cuts through the two-hundred-year-old trees and an overwhelming number of graves. Overwhelming is the word for Brompton, and I let it wash over me and immersed myself.
Beatrix Potter isn't the cemetery's sole claim to fame; the grave of Suffragette Emmaline Pankhurst is along the main avenue. The cemetery has also been used as a filming location, Sherlock and Finding Neverland were both shot there.
Heading toward the cemetery's southern end, long colonnades and locked Catacombs flank the main avenue on either side, leading to an impressive domed chapel whose design is based on the Basilica of St. Peter's in Rome.
West Brompton Cemetery is one of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries of London and it's one of my favourites because it feels like the set of an old Hammer Horror film.
The place feels good. It feels creepy. Take a look. Seek it out.
About CGT Member - Ben Newson
Ben’s always had a passion for History, that thrilling feeling of walking in the footsteps of those who went before us has always been with him. He has fond memories of Castle visits and wandering endless museum halls with his parents, his Mum in particular, who, instead of reading nice bedtime fairy tales, would read the far more exciting stories from The Domesday Book. His parents also instilled a love of Horror and Metal, and thinking back, History Horror and Metal pretty much walk hand in hand. Now he’s a little older but none the wiser, still spending his spare time traipsing through Cemeteries, visiting former set locations and sniffing out the oddities of England. Set that to a Metal soundtrack and you've got a pretty good idea of how Ben spends his time. He was lucky enough to move to Portugal aged eleven, only for three years but those three years were very formative and he hopes to return soon and write something amazing about Portugal; it's History, it's People and its language. Ben currently lives near London, close enough to explore but far out enough to escape.
Ben can be found on instagram @benandonlyben - Follow him for more creepy cemetery photos and keep up with his other adventures.