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Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery is located near Earl’s Court in West Brompton, a part of the Borough of Kensington & Chelsea in South West London, England (postal district SW5). It is managed by The Royal Parks and is one of the Magnificent Seven. Established by Act of Parliament, it opened in 1840 and was originally known as the West of London and Westminster Cemetery. While the cemetery is still open for occasional new burials, today more people use it as a public park than as a place for mourning the dead.

The cemetery was opened as part of an initiative in the mid-19th century to provide seven large, modern cemeteries (sometimes called the ‘Magnificent Seven’) in a ring around the edge of London of which Highgate Cemetery was another example. The inner city cemeteries, mostly the graveyards attached to individual churches, had long been unable to cope with the number of burials and were seen as a hazard to health and an undignified way to treat the dead.

Beatrix Potter, who lived in The Boltons nearby, took the names of many of her animal characters from tombstones in the cemetery and it is said that Mr. McGregor’s walled garden was based on the colonnades. Names on headstones included Mr. Nutkins, Mr. McGregor, a Tod (with that unusual single ‘d’ spelling), Jeremiah Fisher, Tommy Brock – and even a Peter Rabbett.

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