Adopt a Grave is a people funded idea to honour the deceased whilst helping to highlight the beauty of cemeteries. The first graves that are available for adoption can be found in the enchanting Brompton Cemetery, London.
Arial image of Brompton Cemetery taken from a recent Dr Who episode
What is Adopt a Grave?
Adopt a Grave gives an opportunity to those of us who would like to tend to a historic grave site and pay our respects in a symbolically creative way. The purpose of this initiative is to honour those who have died, improve the look of the space that now represents their remains and also to help increase footfall and the use of cemeteries by the general public. We also hope it will encourage conversation about death, dying, history and legacy creation.
The Adopt a Grave trailer in Technicolor
What motivates people to Adopt a Grave?
Many of us do not visit green spaces on a regular basis due to a not owning a property with a garden and the environmental conditions in which we live. Due to the nature of urban cities we rarely get to 'work on the land' or immerse ourselves in an of natural beauty. By granting participants permission to tend a currently untended, historic grave we hope that the natural relationship between participants, nature and death is addressed and somewhat rekindled.
We encourage those who adopt a grave to find out the story about the person whose grave they are tending for. Brompton Cemetery will be onhand to help support you and any research that you may wish to carryout.
Adopt a Grave Social (meetup)
All of the graves put up for adoption in Brompton Cemetery are in a row next to one another. It is hoped that a small community will be forged over the three month period by those tending their adopted grave. We will also have a special meetup for all of those tending to a grave in March (date TBC).
Terms & Conditions
There are no legal obligations around adopting a grave, we just ask that you tend to the grave you have adopted. After the initial three month period you may want to continue to tend to the grave. If so, you will need to speak to Brompton cemetery about it (in short, they are happy for the adoption process to be extended).
Adopt a Grave in Brompton Cemetery
- Brompton Cemetery will provide gardening equipment and tools for free to participants.
- The burial and cremation records for Brompton Cemetery can now be accessed online and offline at the cemetery. The complete record collection comprises approximately 205,000 burials for the period 1840 to 1997. You will have access to these if they are of interest.
- If you would like to 'Adopt a Grave' and do not live in London, please do get in touch regardless and we will try to pair you with your local cemetery.
- Once we have a few interested cemeteries we will provide an interactive map highlighting where graves are available for adoption.
- Thank you to Brompton Cemetery and a special thanks to Robert Stephenson from the 'Friends of Brompton Cemetery'. It is an honor to be supporting your work.
- Adopt a Grave was devised by DeadSocial as part of the London Month of the Dead. Thanks to Stephen & Suzzette from London Month of the Dead for your ongoing support.
- We would like to thank Death Cafe for donating the code for the upcoming Adopt a Grave map tool.