The huge numbers of dead bodies that were removed from a gravesite behind Euston station to clear it for HS2 are to be reburied at Brookwood Cemetery, in Surrey.

The announcement that something in the region of 50,000 dead Londoners are to be moved to Brookwood was made by HS2, along with the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England.

HS2 took over a public garden behind Euston station in October 2018, and knowing that it was a gravesite started excavating the site to remove the dead bodies, always with the intent that they would be reburied elsewhere.

The excavation featured on a new BBC2 documentary series.

Euston excavation site (c) HS2

The new resting place for the dead at Brookwood Cemetery is apt as it was conceived in 1849 by the London Necropolis Company to house London’s deceased at a time when the capital was unable to accommodate increasing numbers.

When Euston Station was originally built, a slice of the old burial site was cut into by the new station, and the dead that had to be removed were reburied at Brookwood, so for the past 150 odd years, the dead of St James parish have been separated.

Now, at last, they will be reunited in the same graveyard once more.

Maybe they will be conveyed by rail from Waterloo to Brookwood as so many hundreds of thousands have been before.

One person who won’t be joining them though is Captain Matthew Flinders, the British explorer who first circumnavigated Australia and gave the country its name, who will be buried in his home village of Donington, Lincolnshire. This follows a request made by the descendants of the Flinders family and the local community for his remains to be returned to the village where he grew up.

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6 comments on “London’s dead to be moved to Brookwood for HS2
  1. Maurice Reed says:

    I doubt they’ll mind, they’ve been dead a long time.

  2. Melvyn says:

    How appropriate given how victorians arrived at Brookwood from Necropolis Station next to Waterloo Station!

  3. John Clarke says:

    It’s unlikely they’d be moved by rail due to the lack of facilities at Brookwood. The plot being used for these reburials was previously used for pauper burials from the Surrey County Lunatic Asylum at Brookwood.

  4. Tanya Jackson says:

    They could not have been reburied at Brookwood when Euston was originally built as the cemetery did not exist then. It must have been for one of the many extensions that they were moved (do not have my copies of John’s books with me at the mo’ to check!)

  5. JohnC says:

    Good to know that the bodies to be reburied at Brookwood are actually dead.

  6. Chris Burton says:

    Has anyone visited Brookwood? It sounds a really interesting place with so many buried there including possibly some of my ancestors. I just wondered what the process was to visit and if they do tours.

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