The memorial park’s founder, Bill Heasman, explains how he conceived the idea for the mausoleum.
“I was first alerted to the growing problem of the lack of burial space in our cemeteries through reports in the media. The problem is a nationwide issue but is particularly prevalent across the capital, with all the cemeteries in eight London boroughs already being full and a further nine predicted to run out of space by 2020.
“In 2012 I attended a friend’s funeral in the village of Benahavís in southern Spain, where he was interred in an outdoor mausoleum arranged in rows of crypts on several levels, up to six high. Placing a coffin above ground in a designated crypt seemed an appealing alternative to an in-ground burial or a cremation.
“Not only did I find the whole experience to be a dignified and civilised alternative to our current UK practices, but this method of interment was also a potential solution to the filling of our cemeteries. To date, the only viable solution being offered is the re-use of graves but this option is being met with considerable opposition as it challenges many people’s deeply held beliefs about burial.
“In a mausoleum, several graves could be accommodated in a relatively confined area, mitigating the need to exhume or re-use existing graves or find suitable land for the construction of more cemeteries.
“On each occasion that I visited the Spanish mausoleum I was struck by the uplifting nature of the experience. It was not a place for sad thoughts but of fond memories that were enhanced by the beautiful surroundings – a total contrast to my experiences of visiting cemeteries in the UK.”
“I soon discovered that mausoleum burial was the preferred option in many parts of the Western world. In the USA and Southern Europe, especially Italy, mausolea are commonplace.
“I wondered why in the UK we still considered cremation or in-ground burial to be the only options for our departed loved ones, especially when many cultures do not embrace cremation? Why were we still in Victorian times when it came to burial, when in all other areas we have advanced so impressively?
“If we were able to take the Spanish mausoleum experience and bring this into the 21st century with the introduction of video technology, offer a bespoke level of personal service to our customers and also adapt it to transcend the unpredictability of the British weather, we would be creating an experience that would be truly special – the first of its kind in this country.
“The site for Brightwater Memorial Park proved to be ideal for a mausoleum, offering privacy and a beautiful natural setting to create a new alternative to other methods of interment.”
with more to come
Bill Heasman’s vision is now becoming a reality. A team of British architects and planners has worked with American mausoleum experts to design one of the world’s most up-to-date and advanced interment facilities.
A meticulous planning approval process has ensured that environmental considerations have been a priority in all aspects of the development. Our founder’s experience in the development of high-end properties has ensured that this facility is at the forefront of mausoleum construction.
Crypts in this first phase of Brightwater Memorial Park have now been released for sale.
When fully completed, there will be no more than 690 crypts in the two buildings, as well as a very limited number of family rooms.