Brookwood Cemetery is situated 25 miles south of London city centre
in the Village of Brookwood in Surrey. The cemetery is the largest in the UK covering 2,000 acres.
Opened in 1852 Brookwood was estimated to have enough burial
capacity to last 500 years. It was hoped that the cemetery, providing for all denominations, would be a massive
success and that Londoners would be happy to be buried away from the city. Unfortunately despite being served by two cemetery
stations and the Necropolis railway from London Waterloo this was never the case.
For more information on Brookwood Cemetery and it's history please
click here - coming soon
We visited Brookwood at the end of September 2007 and the weather
turned out almost perfect for the occasion. Living over 60 miles away travel by train took almost two and a half hours but
that did include an added stop to buy new tickets as we reached the limit of zone 6 at Surbiton.
As we were on foot it took just under seven hours to
photograph but it is possible to see all the interesting parts without a car, but a bicycle would have come in very handy.
Despite some impressive statues and mausoleums, Brookwood (in my opinion) does not come close to the magnificence of
Highgate or Kensal Green. It seems to be a victim of it's own size, and the systematic bricking up of almost all mausoleum
doors by the cemetery company really does nothing for it's appeal. Later communication with the Cemetery
manager revealed budget constraits as the reason for this not uncommon practice.
In complete contrast the Military cemetery,
at 37 acres in size, is kept in immaculate condition. The whole area is very poignant and while being perfectly
tranquil it drives home the evil that is war.