Cemetery

The official date for the opening of the cemetery was 1857, although there was a single burial in 1856.

The Map below shows the status in 1877:-

1877 Cemetary.jpg

Picture credit: Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland. Use of these digitised maps for non-commercial purposes is permitted under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC-BY-NC-SA) licence.

The cemetery was enlarged eastwards in 1891. This increased the capacity for grave spaces from ~10000 to ~15000.

To visualise this this expansion, compare the 1877 map above to the one shown below from 1899:-

1899 Cemetary.jpg

Picture credit: Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland. Use of these digitised maps for non-commercial purposes is permitted under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC-BY-NC-SA) licence.

Burial numbers dropped significantly in 1935, going forward with burials for existing family graves. After that there was only interments of ashes in existing family graves. This was most likely that the cemetery was full and the increased use of Hawkinge cemetery. 

To see how full the cemetery had become, here is a photo from 1946 looking southwards:-

1946 Cemetery.png

Picture credit: Britain From Above (Historic England)

In the early 1960s there were reports that the council was considering removing the grave kerbs and grassing over the entire cemetery to reduce maintenance costs. However this never came to fruition.

Over the years there has been general vandalism to the structures in the cemetery.

The last burial was in 1995.

Currently an overview of the cemetery is that it is roughly divided into old and 'new' sections, with the older section well spaced but the new section very crowded, with a surprising number of dignitaries (military; Mayors, etc) with impressive memorials. The cemetery has three main burial areas. Unconsecrated burials in the central area and Consecrated burials at either end.

Due to the significant age of the cemetery, the available maps or aerial views are generally too late to reflect any significant changes with time to the structure or plan of the cemetery. 

There are multiple websites relating to the cemetery, although most are concerned with finding particular plots / graves. The two websites mentioned below are useful for information relating to the history of the cemetery:-

http://www.fofc.uk/history-of-the-cemetery/

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Cheriton_Road_Cemetery