Brookwood Cemetery and Woking Crematorium
Brookwood Cemetery was first opened in 1854, and at that time grew to be one of the largest cemeteries in the world.
Built by the London Necropolis Company to receive London's past residents, it is still one of the largest privately-owned burial grounds in Britain and one of the biggest operating cemeteries in Western Europe. Since 1854, over 240,000 people have been laid to rest within its beautiful grounds.
The cemetery comprises approximately 230 acres of burial ground, some of which have been set aside for the use of specific communities and denominations.
It has a substantial Victorian Section, which contains many remarkable Victorian memorials and graves. It also contains the largest military cemeteries in the country including the World War One American cemetery, the oldest Muslim cemetery and the unique Zoroastrian burial ground.
Famous names buried at Brookwood include John Singer Sargent (portrait artist), Margaret, Duchess of Argyll (society beauty), Dr Robert Knox (Edinburgh anatomist) and Denis Wheatley (thriller writer).
Brookwood Cemetery is one of the most significant heritage assets in the Borough of Woking, and is a Grade I listed Park and Gardens, containing numerous individually listed structures.
Directions: Easily accessed by rail using Brookwood Station (originally built to service the cemetery) or by road via Cemetery Pales off the A322 Bagshot/Guildford Road, where there is limited parking space (GU24 0BL).
The Brookwood Cemetery Society publishes trails, guides and newsletters, and also organises periodic guided walks around the extensive grounds.
Contact: Margaret Hobbs, on 01344 891041
Woking Crematorium, the first in the country, was founded in 1878, when a piece of land close to St John's Village was bought by Sir Henry Thompson, surgeon to Queen Victoria and founder of The Cremation Society. The acre of land was purchased, with the aid of subscriptions at £200 each, from the London Necropolis Company, who established the nearby Brookwood Cemetery.
By 1911, the original one acre site was extended to 10 acres and now the country's first Book of Remembrance, dating back to 1940, is held there. Famous people cremated here have included Thomas Hardy, Dr Barnardo and the Marquis of Queensbury.
Directions: The Crematorium is just outside St. Johns village, on Hermitage Road. Limited parking is available on site and buses to the village are frequent.
Contact: The Crematorium Office on 01483 472197.