Brompton Cemetery, in the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, has provided escape for people, and shelter for wildlife, since 1840. The site is significant because of its historic structures, including the chapel, catacombs, and monuments dedicated to famous figures buried there. Over time, these structures became costly to maintain and many were labelled ‘at risk’, but today, with the help of HLF funding, they have been restored and stabilized, helping people learn about their rich local heritage. The project also involved efforts to increase biodiversity, including encouraging insect pollinators and removing bramble that out-competed other plants. In order to reduce expenses and increase self-sustainability, solar panels were discretely installed on the roofs of the North Lodge and Chapel.
The Royal Parks staff collaborated with the cemetery’s friends group to engage people in events, apprenticeships, and volunteer projects relating to the heritage on-site. They also created opportunities for under-served people in minority groups to connect with the cemetery and gain skills. A new café has been set up that is run by a local company, alongside a hub for the friends group, visitors, and volunteers. To ensure all operations are running smoothly, the Royal Parks will welcome a new cemetery supervisor who will live in the South Lodge.