1 June 2010

Brompton Cemetery

I had only been to Brompton Cemetery once before, and that was as a short-cut from Earl's Court to Stamford Bridge around ten years ago, so it was long overdue a revisit. The excuse this time was the Arts Link Meetup Group who arranged a day of sketching, photography and general exploration.

Felling brave, I chose to cycle there and that worked pretty well with a large part of the journey being through Richmond Park and the few main roads that I had to use were quieter than usual thanks to it being a Bank Holiday weekend.

We met, around twenty of us, in a cafe where I refuelled with a late breakfast or early lunch of pitta bread with a pumpkin and chilli dip. It did the trick neatly.

Apparently lots of famous people have been laid to rest in Brompton Cemetery but I'm not that interested in history or biographies. My reason for being there was the masonry.

A lot of this is the typical angels and it was impossible to get Dr Who out of my mind. I'm sure I blinked once or twice but I got away with it. This time.

The cemetery is tightly packed, reflecting the London around it, and has a nicely cluttered and unkempt feel to it. It helps that it is a Royal Park.

The long straight walk north to south through the centre of cemetery uncovers an eclectic mix of crosses, headstones, family mausoleums and statues ranging from a small bird to a preposterous lion. Walking slowly and carefully lets some of the subtle detail get noticed through the sea of grey stone swimming on a tide of long sharp grass and it's this detail that makes Brompton Cemetery so attractive.

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