Colquhoun Chapel Restoration Project Start date: 8 April 2019 for 16 weeks

Colquhoun Chapel Restoration Project Start date: 8 April 2019 for 16 weeks

Built in 1858, the gothic revival style Mausoleum stands in the backwoods of Brookwood Cemetery, Plot 57 and was originally built as a cemetery mortuary chapel.  The architect was John Johnson and the sculptural decoration was carried out by W Boulton.

The Mortuary Chapel is built entirely of bath stone; the roof is of stone, carried on arches. Internally the sides are divided into compartments by slate slabs for coffins. The structure includes fantastically fine carved figures of knights in armour on the exterior gable ends. The chapel was adopted by the Colquhoun’s as their family mausoleum before it was completed in 1858. The structure was last restored in 1924 by Violette Freeman in memory of Eliza Colquhoun Redhouse.

For years the Chapel remained cocooned within a wealth of overgrowth and was uncovered in 2016 to expose its splendid character.

The chapel was used for filming an episode of ITV’s Endeavour in November 2017.  The crude blockage to the entrance of the chapel was removed, the original doors re-hung, and a temporary false floor installed where the concrete flooring had given way to the crypt.

As considered one of Brookwood Cemetery’s “Jewel in the Crown” a programme of works have been approved for restoration. The Chapel has been inspected and a schedule of repairs and refurbishment work has been provided by Priory Heritage Ltd and we have appointed a specialist company, Sally Strachey Historic Conservation, to carry out these works. The work is very much of a specialist nature and will include masonry repairs, internal works, drainage to the crypt and a pathway from the main roadside.

The intention is that upon completion, the Chapel will be brought back to its former beauty and be appreciated by visitors for many years to come.

Please Note. The roadway at the end of St Marks Avenue will be closed to parking during the period of works.

Brookwood Cemetery receives national recognition

Brookwood Cemetery receives national recognition

One of the largest cemeteries in the country has received ‘Gold’ recognition for its high industry standards and good practice at the prestigious National Cemetery of the Year Awards

Brookwood Cemetery won the 2018 Gold award in the Large Cemetery category at the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management Learning Convention and Exhibition at the Oxford Belfry Hotel, last week (Tuesday 2 October 2018)

Brookwood Cemetery is one of the most significant heritage assets in the Borough and it is considered by Historic England as a site of national significance, being a Grade 1 listed park and garden.

The Cemetery was opened in 1854 by the London Necropolis and National Mausoleum Company to house London’s dead. In the early 20th Century, part of the site was sold to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to accommodate the graves of the Commonwealth victims of the First World War, as well as a separate area allocated to the American Battle Monuments Commission for American victims.

Philip Potts of the Memorial Awareness Board, who have been promoting and organising the Cemetery of the Year Awards for nearly 20 years, said: “The awards are an excellent opportunity to reward hard-working staff and demonstrate the central role cemeteries and church yards can play in the community. They provide places of peaceful contemplation and beauty, as well as their historical, social and ecological importance.

‘The team at Brookwood Cemetery performed exceptionally throughout the extensive judging period which is focused on industry standards, good practice and freedom of choice.”

Ian Tomes, Woking Borough Council’s Strategic Asset Manager, who oversees the cemetery, said: “This award is such a wonderful pat on the back for Avril Kirby and her team at Brookwood Cemetery. It acknowledges that they go above and beyond to try and provide a reliable, friendly and quality service.

“It is also recognition for the huge amount of work and investment that has gone into cemetery over than past four years, which is transforming the site and restoring it to its former glory.”

Cllr Ayesha Azad, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Asset Management, added: “I would like congratulate Avril and her team on their success at the National Cemetery of the Year Awards.

“We consider Brookwood Cemetery to be a vitally important part of our heritage and its future. Receiving this national award validates the work and investment we have made and continue to do so.

“We are committed to ensuring that the cemetery continues to be a unique and special location for those seeking a final resting place for their loved ones, as well as retaining its status as a site of national importance.’

Since acquiring Brookwood Cemetery in December 2014, the Council has implemented an extensive programme of restoration. Works have included removing vegetation that has returned previously overgrown areas of the cemetery to use, building a new mausoleum and creating a landscaped Garden of Remembrance and an additional 100 burial plots featuring carefully selected trees and shrubs, including a specimen Cedar of Lebanon, that reflects the historic nature of the Grade 1 listed cemetery. The cemetery lake has also been rebuilt and extensive improvements made to the office and public facilities. Currently works are ongoing to replace sections of the historic perimeter wall.

For more information about Brookwood Cemetery, and the services available, please call 01483 472222, email or visit