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John Clarke

Historian of Brookwood Cemetery

The Brookwood Necropolis Railway

Brookwood Necropolis Railway 4th edition John Clarke

The Brookwood Necropolis Railway

John M. Clarke

4th edition

Published by the Oakwood Press, July 2006

Paperback, with 192 pages, and 115 illustrations

Price: £18.95 (reprint)

ISBN-10: 0853616558

ISBN-13: 9780853616559

To Order: You can order direct from here

(post free in the UK)

Please note that Stenlake Publishing are the new owners of the Oakwood Press.  Stenlake Publishing, 54-58 Mill Square, Catrine, Ayrshire KA5 6RD, telephone 01290 551122; fax 01290 551122; email sales@stenlake.co.uk

In case of any difficulty in ordering, please feel free to contact me. I am currently working through new material for a new revised edition.

“The return of an Oakwood Press favourite, The Brookwood Necropolis Railway has been considerably enlarged for this new fourth edition.

“This book tells the full story of what must have been one of the most unusual train services to operate on a British railway - the service operated for the London Necropolis Company from its private station just outside London Waterloo to Brookwood Cemetery near Woking. The book describes how the railway conveyed the deceased and their accompanying mourners to their final resting place, Brookwood Cemetery (the London Necropolis), which at one time was the largest cemetery in the world.

“The cemetery railway had many unusual features: there were two stations, one for the Nonconformist section and another for Anglicans; associated chapels, and a masonry works siding. Even after death class distinctions were maintained with first, second or third class coffin tickets available. Somewhat surprisingly both cemetery stations included licensed premises and visitors to these bars have said there were notices displayed stating "Spirits served here". The railway has been the inspiration for two novels, but you can read the full true story of this remarkable railway service which the author has been studying for over 30 years.

“This much enlarged fourth edition, which includes expanded text and a number of new photographs is to A5 format, with 192 pages of art paper. Amongst the 115 illustrations are photographs, maps, building plans, track layouts and plans of the special rolling stock used on the line as well as tickets and other ephemera connected to the railway and the London Necropolis Company. This new edition also includes a large fold-out map of Brookwood Cemetery. The book is perfect bound with a laminated cover and square-backed spine.”

Information on the first edition (published September 1983) is posted here. Information on the third edition is posted here.

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Some reviews of The Brookwood Necropolis Railway

posted on Amazon

“A beautifully researched and illustrated little gem”

“I cannot praise this little book too highly, it has an excellent text and all the photographs, maps and diagrams that any railway buff could ask for. The author, John Clarke, has clearly undertaken a great deal of research and writes with a clear straightforward style separate chapters on the historical background to the Necropolis service, the London termini, the details of the branch track into the cemetery and its two stations, how the service operated and finally, chapters covering special incidents, rolling stock and ticketing. This is a real little gem and his highly recommended for anyone with an interest in this subject.”

By Dr. R. Brandon (Top 1,000 Reviewer, 26 May 2011)

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 “An informative and readable introduction to this subject”

“This is a readable and informative history of the subject, one of the strangest railway services ever offered, and is recommended for anyone interested in the obscure corners of British railway history.”

By Gareth Simon (Top 500 Reviewer, 5 March 2013)

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“An excellent book and full of interesting information”

“This is an excellent book and full of interesting information about the 'lost' railway of the dead, which linked Victorian London with the Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey. For anyone fascinated by the Victorian age this is a must!”

By Pamela (19 November 2012)

You can read some more review here

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Since The Brookwood Necropolis Railway has been considerably revised over the years, and has been in (and temporarily out of) print since 1983, I have posted further information regarding the earlier editions. Click on the following links to read more about the first edition, second edition and third edition.