A jewel in Woking’s crown, Brookwood Cemetery has received a silver accolade at the national Cemetery of the Year Awards.
Since acquiring the 220 acre site in 2014, the Council has implemented an extensive programme of restoration to return the Grade 1 listed park and garden to its former glory. In recognition of its ongoing transformation, Brookwood has been awarded the silver award in the ‘Large Cemetery’ category.
Avril Kirby, Cemetery Manager, said: “It’s wonderful to receive this continued praise and it’s a great reward for the team, which works so hard all year round to improve standards and deliver excellent customer service.
“Brookwood’s transformation isn’t just about appearance, it also about opening up this fantastic space to the community and making people more aware of the diversity and wealth of history that lies within the cemetery walls.
“This fits with our aim of making Brookwood the favoured resting place for many different faith communities from Woking and further afield”.
Brookwood 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. A separate area was also allocated to the American Battle Monuments Commission for American victims.
Twelve Victoria Cross recipients rest within the confines of the cemetery and a further three are commemorated on site.
Cllr Ayesha Azad, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Asset Management, said: “Brookwood Cemetery is one of the most significant heritage assets in the Borough and it is considered by Historic England to be a site of national significance. In addition to this, a large part of it is woodland so there is also enormous potential for Brookwood Cemetery to be a very beautiful, natural space of social and ecological value. The cemetery team recognises this and does a fantastic job of managing these important aspects while delivering high quality services at the same time that our residents feel are befitting of their loved ones. This award is very much deserved. Well done all.”