Brookwood Cemetery to become major attraction thanks to council support

BROOKWOOD Cemetery is set to become a major tourist destination now that plans to support more conservation work and encourage extra visitors have been approved.

A full meeting of Woking Borough Council last week accepted a masterplan and experience plan drawn up for what is the largest cemetery in the UK and one of the largest in Europe.

Monuments, gravestones and a mausoleum in Brookwood Cemetery, which was opened in 1854

The plans set out policies for managing and developing the 230-acre cemetery, which the council bought in 2014.

New facilities will be built, including a café, walking trail, education centre and the provocatively titled, Museum of Death, all intended to attract more visitors and promote greater appreciation of what has been a largely hidden public asset.

The plans focus on enhancing unique characteristics such as the route of the railway line that took funeral trains to the cemetery until its London terminus was bombed during the Second World War, the substantial collection of Giant Redwood trees and the Victorian monuments, many of which are Grade I listed.

The lead member for Brookwood Cemetery, Cllr Graham Cundy, said: “We now have a set of plans that will help us take the cemetery forward over the next 10 to 20 years.

“First and foremost, the cemetery’s main function is, and always will be, to provide a dignified and respectful resting place for Woking’s deceased, of all faiths and none. All future development must sustain and support this objective.

“The experience plan is about attracting new audiences from further afield. An expanded programme of events, tours, exhibitions and workshops will bring to life the themes and cultural wonders within the cemetery, while highlighting the different aspects that make Brookwood a heritage site with immense local, national and global significance.”

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