Rapid population growth in the first half of the 19th century created pressure on burial space in the town. Before 1820 the only place in Southampton for burials was St Mary’s churchyard, apart from a few small plots adjoining the other churches and the Quaker graveyard on the Avenue. In 1821 All Saints burial ground was opened behind the Star Hotel but quickly became full. In March 1837 the council set up a committee to consider a site for a new cemetery, but difficulties in finding suitable land held up the project until 1846 when the Old Cemetery was eventually created from 15 acres on the south west corner of the Common. It was enlarged with a further 5 acres in 1863. It was landscaped by W H Rogers and its construction was supervised by J C Loudon (D.M.B.).
The cemetery lodge (image 2) was designed by Frederick Francis in the Tudor style and was built by local builder John Foot in 1848. There are three mortuary chapel buildings each in a different style: a Nonconformist chapel in Early English style, an Anglican chapel in Norman style (image 4) and a Jewish chapel in Gothic Revival style (image 3). Each of the chapels was designed by Frederick Francis and built by John Foot in 1846. All of these buildings are Grade II listed as are the main gates and the gate piers on the eastern entrance.
All the above buildings are Grade II listed, as are the main gates (image 1) and the piers to the eastern and the north-west gates.
The unofficial (but universal) name of the crossing of a common road over the Rolles Brook immediately south of the Old Cemetery.
An artificial lake on the Common north west of the Old Cemetery. It was created in the 1880s by filling a disused gravel pit with water.
- Daniel Day (died 1887)
- William Hewett (died 1891)
- James Henry Hurdis (died 1857)
- William Lacy (died 1892)
- Peter Breton (promoter of the cemetery in the 1840s)
History of Southampton Vol 2, by A. Temple Patterson, p49-50, 54-55, 92. (HS/h)
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