Saturday, 14 February 2015

Free Stuff to Do in Shepherd's Bush - Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery
This regular feature should really be titled Free Stuff to Do Near Shepherd's Bush, because most of the things we recommend aren't actually in the Bush.  But then, that's one of the good things about our neighbourhood - it's a great place for getting elsewhere.  Our transport connections are superb and we are perfectly placed for exploring other parts of London.  Today's top tip is Brompton Cemetery, a beautiful place to walk and stroll and find peace and solitude in our busy city.

Brompton Cemetery - main entry
But why go to a cemetery? Isn't that a bit, well, weird?  Because it's beautiful, full of gorgeous Victorian architecture, and a rare place of quiet and contemplation in central London. According to Wikipedia, it has "some 35,000 monuments, from simple headstones to substantial mausolea, marking the resting place of more than 205,000 burials".

Brompton Cemetery dome
You can wander through the avernues of tombs and meet almost no-one else, except possibly the occasional gardener or dog walker. It's a beautiful place, full of fine Victorian buildings.  Even some of the tombs are listed structures.  This one below - the tomb of Frederick Leyland, is listed Grade II*.

Grade II* Tomb of Frederick Richards Leyland by Edwardx. Wikimedia Commons
See if you can find the tomb of Frederic Thesiger, 2nd Baron Chelmsford.  If he sounds vaguely familar, he's the general played by Peter O'Toole in the film Zulu Dawn, whose strategic and tactical mistakes led directly to British defeat at the hands of the Zulus at Isandlwana, a battle which (according to Wikipedia) was "the British army's worst ever defeat from a technologically inferior indigenous force".

Lord Chelmsford
On a less military note, it is said that Beatrix Potter, who lived in The Boltons nearby, may have taken the names of some of her characters from tombstones in the cemetery.  Names of people buried there included Mr. Nutkins, Mr. McGregor, Mr Brock, Mr Tod, Jeremiah Fisher and even a Peter Rabbett.

Brompton Cemetery
To get to Brompton Cemetery, hop on the overland at Shepherd's Bush Station and travel south two stops to West Brompton - it will take just a few minutes. The cemetery is just a short walk away.

How to get there, courtesy of Google maps

The Bush Telegraph offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush. Read about the Campaign to Save Hammersmith Park, find out about our new Farmer's Market, see what's on at The Bush Theatre,  find out the latest news on the future of Shepherd's Bush Market,  and the Council's plans to upgrade the Goldhawk Road and the Uxbridge Road.  Also read about free stuff to do in The Bush. If you would like to contribute a story about our neighbourhood, email us at

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