A £4.5m to help increase community use and conserve listed monuments
The Parks for People Lottery Fund has awarded nearly £4.5m for the regeneration of London’s historic Brompton Cemetery; at the same time, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has granted planning permission for the proposed masterplan by a design team led by LDA Design, working with Royal Parks (which manages the cemetery) and Friends of Brompton Cemetery,
Brompton Cemetery is one of London’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ suburban cemeteries built in the mid 19th century, and is currently Grade I listed. It was designed by Benjamin Baud with planting by JC Loudon, laid out as a ‘garden cemetery’, with paths and planting suggesting a cathedral floor plan. Many of the monuments are of architectural or historic interest including some that are listed at grade II* or II.
The aim of the masterplan is to conserve the historic landscape while reinterpreting the original vision to provide better access and updated amenities that can cater for an increased number of visitors. The North Lodge will house a new visitors’ centre and cafe, enhanced by pavilion extensions. Public access will be improved to buildings and monuments, enabling larger numbers of visitors, while the chapel, colonades and catacombes will be conserved and restored.
The 39-acre [16ha] cemetery is also a site of Nature Conservation Importance. Environmental management will include a programme of wildlife conservation, with existing habitats maintained and improved, and the garden of remembrance will reflect the work of Victorian botanists and plant hunters, including Robert Fortune, who is buried in the cemetery.
Greg McErlean, director at the Royal Parks, which manages Brompton Cemetery, said: ‘This project is focused on transforming a superb but relatively little-known Victorian cemetery into a vital 21st century community asset that delights visitors from further afield and serves as a source of inspiration for other cemetery managers. Our vision is to make Brompton a real community asset.’
The masterplan was drawn up following extensive community consultation. The design team, led by LDA Design, and consisted of MRDA architects, Huntley Cartwright QS, the Morton Partnership and SJA engineers. The Parks for People grant comes via the BIG Lottery Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.