Thursday, 14 January 2016

Lottery grants for 'magnificent' London cemeteries

Two "magnificent" Victorian cemeteries in London are to receive multimillion-pound facelifts.
Brompton Cemetery, where suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst is buried, is to be given £6.2m to restore its landscape and monuments.
Along with West Norwood - which will receive £4.8m - it is one of London's "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries
View of Brompton Cemetery
Brompton Cemetery's chapel, which was built in the style of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, will be renovated as part of the scheme

The historic burial grounds were created in London's suburbs from 1832 to reduce overcrowding.
Highgate and Kensal Green are also among the "Magnificent Seven".
Emmeline Pankhurst's tombstoneImage copyrightThe Royal Parks
Image captionAs well as Emmeline Pankhurst, Queen Victoria's surgeon Sir Thomas Spencer Wells and many former Chelsea Pensioners are among the 205,000 people buried in Brompton Cemetery
Brompton Cemetery's chapel, which was built in the style of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, will be one of the monuments renovated with the funds.
The north lodge will be turned into a cafe and visitor centre.
Sara Lom, of The Royal Parks Foundation, described the graveyard as "a beautiful monument to our nation's history".
"It's a final place of rest for notable figures and unsung heroes in equal measure," she said.
North Lodge at the cemetery after the faceliftImage copyrightRoyal Parks
Image captionBrompton Cemetery is 'as much for the living as for the dead', said Royal Parks Board member Wesley Kerr
View of Brompton CemeteryImage copyrightMax A Rush
Image captionThe Friends of Brompton Cemetery said the project would bring 'a new lease of life'
The funding, made up of £4.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and a further £1.7m from The Royal Parks and The Royal Parks Foundation, will also be put towards conserving wildlife habitats.
Brompton has 39 acres of green space and is home to 221 species of moth, 42 species of beetle and 18 species of butterfly.
The cemetery neighbours Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea Football Club, and Gus Mears, who formed the club in 1905, is buried there.
View of Brompton CemeteryImage copyrightThe Royal Parks
Image captionDesigned by Benjamin Baud in 1840, Brompton Cemetery's condition has deteriorated over the years because of increased pressure on budgets and question marks over the cemetery's future management

Notable people buried at Brompton Cemetery

  • Emmeline Pankhurst (1852-1928) - Suffragette leader
  • Dr John Snow (1813-1858) - Pioneer anaesthetist who discovered the cause of cholera
  • Dr Benjamin Golding (1793-1863) - Founder of Charing Cross Hospital
  • Brian Glover (1934-1997) - Actor and wrestler
  • Henry Augustus "Gus" Mears (1873-1912) - Founder of Chelsea Football Club
  • Major Archibald Low (1888-1956) - Aviation designer
  • Chelsea Pensioners - former members of the British Army

central colonnades in Brompton CemeteryImage copyrightThe Royal Parks
Image captionThe central colonnades at Brompton Cemetery are in need of restoration
Chairman of the Friends of Brompton Cemetery Arthur Tait said it would become "a hub for volunteering, training, and a place of relaxation for children and families while still being a haven for those who want peace, quiet and beauty".
View of Brompton Cemetery in AutumnImage copyrightMax A Rush
Image captionGreg McErlean, project leader and Director at TRP, said the project would make Brompton "a real community asset"
Royal Parks Board member Wesley Kerr said the "marvellous communal green space" was as much for the living as for the dead.
"It is architecturally astonishing, full of magnificent sculptures, monuments and buildings set in a very beautiful designed landscape," he said.
West Norwood Cemetery chapel covered in snowImage copyrightFriends of West Norwood Cemetery
Image captionIsabella Beeton and Sir Henry Tate are among the famous people buried in West Norwood Cemetery
Brompton and West Norwood, which both still hold burial services, are among 12 parks and cemeteries to have received funding across the UK.
Friends of West Norwood Cemetery said the £4.8m investment would be spent on improving the cemetery's drainage, footpaths and entrance gates.
It said the money would also be used for works on an area reserved for the Greek Orthodox community - known as the "necropolis" or "cemetery within a cemetery".

Notable people buried at West Norwood Cemetery

  • Isabella Beeton (1836-1865) - Author of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management
  • Sir Henry Bessemer (1813-1898) - Inventor of the Bessemer converter, which helped mass-produce steel
  • Sir Henry Doulton (1820-1897) - Businessman, inventor and pottery manufacturer
  • Sir Henry Tate (1819-1899) - Sugar merchant who founded the Tate gallery
  • Sir Hiram Maxim (1840-1916) - Inventor of the Maxim machine gun
Source: The Friends of West Norwood Cemetery

West Norwood CemeteryImage copyrightWest Norwood Cemetery
Image captionWest Norwood will invest the grant in infrastructure in the cemetery