Brompton Cemetery by Tom Fogarty

Brompton Cemetery

I visited Brompton Cemetery recently,not to be confused with Trumpton Cemetery (a British stop-motion children’s television series from the 60s). Situated in Earls Court (Brompton that is, not Trumpton), an incredibly wealthy, and somewhat posh borough of London, this is another of London’s famous Magnificent Seven cemeteries, dating back to the 1800s.

This is by far the most stately of these cemeteries, graves are laid out more uniformly here than the rest, with a giant dome edifice in its epicentre. The neat and well-maintained paths are lined with grand family mausoleums and even the commoner’s headstones are ordered in a regimental fashion. Fittingly for a salubrious area of South West London, this is the resting place of explorers, doctors (such as John Snow), generals and other selected military personnel of high rank and status. Also Brian Glover, the burly, bald-headed Yorkshireman – ex-wrestler and star of An American Werewolf in London and Kes (plus, Bottom!). Unsurprisingly then, there is a sombre military-dedicated section of the cemetery here too.

The grass is kept short and tidy – whilst the others on the list tend to be overgrown and unkept, and is more reminiscent of a royal garden than a gothic forest. This graveyard could certainly not pass as a setting for a a macabre and raunchy Hammer horror film; those of you expecting to stumble upon the mutilated and decomposing corpse of a murdered prostitute poking out from behead a tomb will be sorely disappointed. Although at a push, it could the setting in an episode of Midsummer Murders. This is not the kind of cemetery where you could imagine any black mass orgies, ritualist killings or satanic desecrations taking place, although the dome in the centre looks like it could be used as some sort of Masonic lodge, so you never know your luck…

Although the flora and fauna is clearly not left to run rampant in Brompton, the place is teeming with wildlife. I can attest to this by the pack of hungry squirrels who pursued me for much of my amble, voraciously lusting after my nuts. I also saw robins aplenty, which is always nice, and according to the notice board, the cemetery is also the home to bats, woodpeckers and swallows (I like tits. My mother, swallows).

As you might expect, I did not encounter any tramps necking Special Brew or gothic nudie photoshoots taking place whilst I explored (which is a shame), but thankfully there were no hipsters taking photos either. Unless you consider me a hipster (to which I will retort, “you cunt“). There was a decidedly unexpected lack of posh-totty Sloan ranger-types out strolling too. I expect they were too busy in the nearby brunch bars of Kensington and Chelsea, sloshing back chablis and scoffing swan pâté. There were plenty of people out jogging though (in a cemetery, really?). There were also many walking their dogs or cycling round, despite the prominent signs posted all over the place forbidding these activities. Which only goes to show that the upper classes are not that different to chavs when it comes to selfishness. Or maybe we are all just anarchists at heart?

Next on my list is Kensal Green…

Brompton Cemetery by Tom Fogarty

Brompton Cemetery by Tom Fogarty

Brompton Cemetery by Tom Fogarty


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