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 first edition of London’s Necropolis
“Clarke’s book is a comprehensive guide ...”
"John Clarke has been investigating Brookwood Cemetery since 1976 (almost too late) and ... has done a splendid job (as far as is possible) in giving us a history of the London Necropolis & National Mausoleum Company and its Surrey cemetery. ... Clarke's book is a comprehensive guide with much information about who is buried there, the monuments and much else."
By Professor James Stevens Curl, writing in Garden History vol 31 no 2 (Winter, 2003), 226-
“any researchers with middle class ancestry in Victorian London may find this book of considerable interest.”
"John Clarke's guide to Brookwood is a functional journey through those avenues of sequoia and rows of graves ... and any researchers with middle class ancestry in Victorian London may find this book of considerable interest"
Reviewed in Your Family Tree (2004)
“A well written, well researched book that I cannot praise highly enough.”
Gillian Rayment writing in the Family Tree Magazine (2004)
"Suggestive of the infinite and compelling variety of both death and life, this marvellous book is an essential addition to the literature of London's cemeteries."
Lizzie Wells writing in the London Society Journal (2004)
"John Clarke has ... an encyclopaedic knowledge of Brookwood.”
"John Clarke has ... an encyclopaedic knowledge of Brookwood. The extent of his research is admirable. ... The book is well illustrated with maps which are immensely useful given the huge size of the site ... This book is an invaluable companion for anyone visiting Brookwood."
Chris Willis writing in the Mausolea & Monuments Trust News (2004)