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Rectory Lane Cemetery

The Cemetery was established in 1842 as a detached churchyard for St Peter’s Church and remained the main burial place until the late 1940s. Over the following decades it deteriorated through dwindling attention and investment. From 2013 the Friends of St Peter's have worked tirelessly to rescue this 'hidden gem' and in 2017 initiated a three-year programme to transform it from ‘a dead space to a living place’ with National Lottery funding.

Guided by a skilled project manager and underpinned by the hard work of volunteers and support from the community, conservation experts have restored its crumbling walls, memorial arch, entrance gates, 60 key memorials; and repaired and repurposed the vandalised sexton’s hut. Imaginative designers and landscapers have created accessible paths and sculptured seating throughout the three-acre space, established a new Garden of Remembrance with an innovative Memorial Wall, and amplified a natural performance area with the installation of a retractable canopy in the form of an angel’s wings. Volunteers have built a cosy volunteers' retreat.

Two small wildlife ponds, a length of native hedging and areas of introduced wildflowers contribute to the biodiversity of the space

The Cemetery is now enjoyed by 100,000 visitors a year as a place in which to sit and reflect, meet friends with a coffee, commemorate a loved one, discover local history, explore nature, watch their children enjoying the space. It manages to weave together public participation, enjoyment and celebration with a restored sense of personal space, dignity and sanctuary.

Park Facilities

Dog Exercise Area
Nature Reserve
Nature Walks
Picnic Area
Public Sculpture
Public Transport Links
Walking Routes
Wildflower Area
Green Flag Award
Community Winner
Managing Organisation
Friends of St Peter's Berkhamsted
Dr James Moir
07545 786372