Brompton Cemetery – One Of London’s Magnificent Seven Cemeteries

Brompton Cemetery is the third of London’s so-called Magnificent Seven Cemeteries that I’ve visited. I’ve previously been to Norwood and Kensal Green (twice), but Brompton has been the most enjoyable of the three.

Brompton was built in 1840, and it’s as much a nature reserve as a cemetery. Because it’s surrounded by a wall, a distinct area of Victorian flora has been preserved virtually intact. There are over 60 species of trees, of which the limes date back to 1838. Snow drops and bluebells are amongst the flora that appear seasonally, and because the land was once used as a market garden, it’s not unusual to find wild cabbages, asparagus, and garlic sprouting amongst the graves. There’s loads of animals too. Foxes, bats, and some incredibly tame and Instagram friendly squirrels.

Nikon F100 / Kodak Tmax 100 / Developed in D76 1+1

Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery Praying Angel

Brompton Cemetery graves

Most people tend to view Brompton Cemetery as park that just happens to have some gravestones. And in fact it’s actually maintained and managed by The Royal Parks. I came across sunbathers and picnickers, cyclists and joggers, dog-walkers and scooter riders. Even a teenage dance troupe having a practice session. Because, as nobody will ever hear me say, jazz hands always make the world better place.

Brompton Cemetery jogger

Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery Jogger

Brompton Cemetery scooter

Brompton Cemetery has been an attractive place for filmakers over the years. Indeed, there’s a bit of a James Bond thing going on. The chapel was used in GoldenEye, the outside standing in for the church in St Petersburg where Izabella Scorupco hides from the evil Janus.

And the colonnades above the catacombs are used in the far more realistic spoof-Bond film Johnny English, where Rowan Atkinson plays a twit.

Chapel Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery

Of the many famous residents of Brompton Cemetery, in my mind the most significant is British Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst. Time magazine clearly agree, because in 1999 they named her as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating “she shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back”. Unfortunately her gravestone was in deep shade, shrouded by numerous trees, so I didn’t take a photo. However, below is the rather grand memorial of boxer John “Gentlemen” Jackson, winner of “Champion of England” in 1795. I believe this went untelevised.

John Jackson Lion Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery

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Lead an empty life with far too much time on your hands? Then why not check out my other Magnificent Seven photos?

Kensal Green Cemetery: here and here

Norwood Cemetery: here

Next up? Probably Abney Park Cemetery, if for no other reason that it’s where Amy Winehouse filmed her video for Back to Black…

The Last Polaroids – Expired Fuji FP-100C

When Fuji discontinued FP-3000B back in 2013 I felt a sense of loss. I thought Fuji’s black and white instant peel apart film was fantastic, and I hadn’t shot anywhere near as much as I wanted to. I was sure that the sole remaining pack film, FP-100C, would soon go the same way. And even though I’m never really excited by colour film, I bought a couple of packs. Sure enough, Fuji announced it discontinuation in 2016. My Polaroid 103 had become a vintage doorstop.

Last weekend I found the camera at the back of my cupboard and realised it still had three shots left. But this film had expired in 2015. If it was regular film I’d have no concerns at all. But pack film? With its arcane and sticky chemical gel? I didn’t expect to get usable photos.

Clearly I was wrong. Looking at these three shots I feel that sense of loss all over again. And my Polaroid now really is a doorstop.

Polaroid Land Model 103 / Expired Fuji FP-100C

Rosie in the jungle. Well, by the apple tree actually

Expired Fuji FP-100C

Ella lurking in the bushes

Expired Fuji FP-100C

Come on Daisy, keep awake…we’ve only got one shot at this….stay with me old girl…

click

Sigh

Expired Fuji FP-100C