Property: Brookwood Cemetery
Project: Historic Cemetery Conservation Management
Service: Preparation of a Conservation Management Framework
Completed by Nicholas Kelly during previous employment with Dovetail Building Consultants
Property Designation: Grade 1 Historic Park and Gardens, containing 18 listed buildings and monuments, and with Conservation Area status. Included on the Heritage at Risk Register.
Also designated SSSI, Special Area of Conservation with BAP Priority Habitat and Green Belt land
Significance: The Brookwood Cemetery is a large and complex planned multi-denominational cemetery of international importance dating back to 1854, providing a resting place for civilian and military remains.
The funerary monuments and structures of the Cemetery, reflect burial practices from society notables to paupers and all social levels between.
The Arcadian picturesque landscape of the Cemetery is comparable with the best examples of 19th century landscape design, and is seminal in the development of cemetery planting.
Issues & Operational Needs Arising & Addressed:
Following the transfer of the largest of the Cemetery shares into local authority ownership, the Cemetery was considered in fair to poor condition with buildings & monuments in ruination, decay and threatened by vegetation.
In line with funding & regulatory agreements, reflecting fragmentary site ownership, a Conservation Management Framework was agreed as a precursor to Conservation Management Planning by individual ownerships, providing over-arching guidance for the cemetery buildings, monuments and landscapes, taking account of the cemetery development & expansion needs, whilst improving public access, inclusion & enjoyment.
As a new conservation management tool, with no standard models and a singular Framework example to work from, the format & content were developed and agreed with the client & funding bodies before proceeding.
The Framework defined operational & conservation parameters, set project objectives, and examined the site evolution & significance of both heritage and ecological resources, then reviewed conservation regulation & policies affecting the Cemetery and potential funding opportunities.
With the context set, the specific operational, regulatory & development needs were reviewed, developing objectives, informing research needs & opportunities, and developing priorities & programming. The study concluded with conclusions and recommendations for next steps.
Following 3 consultation rounds, the document has now been placed for public adoption.