Rectory Lane Cemetery in Berkhamsted celebrates 180-year anniversary
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Berkhamsted’s historic Rectory Lane Cemetery is celebrating its 180th anniversary this month.
Back in 1842, the cemetery, just off Berkhamsted’s High Street, was created as an overflow graveyard for St Peter’s Church on a former garden donated to the town by Countess of Bridgewater, Charlotte Catherine Anne Egerton.
Today, the restored cemetery is a contemporary garden of commemoration and has been recognised with multiple accolades including Landscape Institute’s ‘Excellence in Heritage and Culture‘ and ‘Excellence in Community Engagement’ awards.
Ranger Kate Campbell says that the cemetery offers a glimpse into Victorian Berkhamsted
She explained: “You can trace the history of notable families and discover connections with local landmarks.”
Kate added: “From butlers and governesses to leaders in industry and horticulture, the cemetery contains stories from all walks of life.”
Rectory Lane Cemetery’s project manager, Dr James Moir said: “The fact that the cemetery is here today, celebrating its 180th anniversary, is because of a team of incredible volunteers and professionals, who have restored and revitalised this space,”
Dr Moir invited residents to get involved in helping maintain the cemetery, saying: “There are so many ways that the community can keep contributing, including joining our weekly work parties or becoming a grave gardener.”
He added: “Getting involved in outdoor activities is great for your mental and physical health, and will ensure that the cemetery continues to serve as a place for nature, history and community for many years to come.”
The cemetery also hosts sessions for local primary schools, bringing local history to life and looking at wildlife.