Woking's crematorium and cemeteries

Brookwood Cemetery

Built to receive London's dead, Brookwood Cemetery opened in 1854 and is the largest privately owned burial ground in Britain.

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.

Monks from the St. Edward Brotherhood give guided tours of the St. Edward Orthodox Church, home to the shrine of St. Edward the Martyr.

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).

The cemetery is listed both as a conservation area as well as in Parks and Gardens of Historic Interest.

Directions: Accessible 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).

Contact: Owners of the site - Brookwood Cemetery Ltd. on 01483 472222.

Information on press and publicity can be obtained from Brookwood Cemetery Society, on 01276 474421or 01344 891941, or email l.cowley68@members.leeds.ac.uk

Brookwood Cemetery Society publishes trails, guides and newsletters and organises guided walks.

Contact: Barry Devonshire Tel: 01276 857292

For guided tours of St. Edward Orthodox Church, please contact The St. Edward Brotherhood on 01483 487763.

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Closed cemeteries

The closed churchyard and burial ground at St. Peters, Old Woking, closed churchyard at St. Johns and closed churchyard at St. Marys at Byfleet are maintained by Serco, on behalf of Woking Borough Council.

If you would like to enquire or report any issue regarding these cemeteries you can fill in an online form. Alternatively, you can contact Serco either by email or telephone.

Enquiries relating to individual plots are handled by the individual church. Please look at the Window on Woking website for contact information.

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Woking Crematorium

Woking's 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.