May 2024 – Brompton Cemetery

Beyond the bustling heart of London, nestled in the leafy embrace of Kensington, lies Brompton Cemetery. A canvas not of brick and mortar, but of moss-kissed headstones, towering cedars, and the ghosts of stories whispered on the wind. Here, mortality meets artistry, inviting urban sketchers to capture the melancholic beauty, the intricate details, and the silent resilience of a Victorian resting place.

Brompton is more than a resting place; it’s a sanctuary of history and tranquility nestled within the heart of London. Sketch the majestic trees providing shade to intricate monuments, the peaceful pathways leading to hidden corners waiting to be discovered. Be captivated by the timeless beauty of the chapel, an architectural gem surrounded by serene gardens. Explore the stories etched in stone, from prominent figures to ordinary lives, each with a unique narrative waiting to be told. Delve into the rich tapestry of Brompton Cemetery, where every corner holds a piece of London’s past.

Key times and meeting points for the day

Key times and meeting points for the day:

Join us on Saturday, May 25th, for a sketchwalk through this captivating Victorian necropolis, where history whispers its stories and nature reclaims its domain.

11 am: Meet Inside the Brompton Cemetery North Lodge, Lillie Rd, London SW5 9JE (what3words ///

1 pm: Meet back at the North Lodge to look at drawings done so far and the first group photo of the day.

3.30 pm:  Second throwdown – the same location by North Lodge for the final throwdown and group photo at the end of the sketching day.

3.30 pm and beyond: We can go to The Prince for a drink and chat and do more sketching after the sketchcrawl. 

Points of interest:

Immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of Brompton Cemetery, where ancient cedars cast dappled sunlight on moss-covered tombs, delicate ferns adorn weathered headstones, and winding pathways unveil hidden nooks and forgotten corners. Sketch the octagonal domed Anglian Chapel, nestled within circular arched colonnades that form the Great Circle—an architectural gem inspired by St. Peter’s in Rome and a testament to the opulence of its era.

As you capture the stylish monuments lining Central Avenue, a tribute to the lives of the rich and famous, remember to watch out for cyclists, as Central Avenue serves as a dedicated cycle lane.

Wandering around the cemetery, you may spot some familiar names. Amongst those laid to rest here are Emmeline Pankhurst, the courageous leader of the suffragettes who fought for women’s right to vote. Nearby is the grave of pioneering Doctor John Snow, who proved that cholera was spread by infected water. You could spend a lifetime discovering the stories of the people buried here – from artists and adventurers to sportspeople and socialites. In recent years, Brompton has become a working cemetery once again with new burials often taking place.

Explore Brompton Cemetery’s website or download a brochure to uncover famous burials and grave locations. At the north end of the cemetery you’ll find an Information Centre where friendly volunteers can help you make the most of your visit.

Practical information

  • Respect the sacred atmosphere: This is a working cemetery so please be respectful and be mindful of privacy. Please do not walk on, sit on or lean on the graves.We are visiting informally so take care to maintain access for other people.
  • Transport: A 5-minute walk from Earl’s Court Tube Station, or a 2-minute walk from West Brompton Overground, Buses 74 and 390 stop close to the cemetery.
  • Food and drink: Brompton Cemetery has one main café – Café North Lodge. More options outside the cemetery on Old Brompton Road and beyond. Please note that the cafe is fairly new, so does not show on Google maps.
  • Public toilets: Available in the Café at North Lodge. In cafés along Old Brompton Road or the Fulham Broadway Centre, London SW6 1BY (20 min)
  • Information Centre: There is an information centre located near the café.
  • Share your sketches on social media with #urbansketcherslondon to be featured on our Instagram page and share your sketches on our Facebook group page.