Hertford Cemetery



















 
Hertford Cemetery actually consists of two cemeteries side by side. St Andrews Cemetery was the first to open when the graveyard at Hertford St Andrews Church became full to capacity. Land was donated to the church for the purpose of the Cemetery by a local farmer and land owner called Mr Campkin.

St Andrews Church
Hertford St Andrew Church

 
The Cemetery was consecrated on the 3rd of June 1851 but it wasn't until September of that year that a notice was published in the Hertfordshire Mercury inviting tenders for the construction of a mortuary chapel. The new chapel was constructed by a builder called Mr Pulham from Broxbourne at a cost of 237. It was never particularly popular amongst the towns people and was once described by a councillor at the time as a 'barn like structure unworthy of the parish'.
 
The Chapel continued to be used until 1973 when the Rector of St Andrews and the Vicar of All Saints (another Hertford church) agreed that the condition of the Chapel had deteriorated to the extent that it was no longer suitable for services. It then became the workshop of the cemetery groundsmen and served to store tools and garden machinery.
 
After further neglect and as a target for vandals the Borough Council decided in 1983 that the structure was no longer safe and applied for a Faculty for the demolition of the chapel. In due course and against local opposition the Chapel was demolished and the site cleared all within 24 hours.

Hertford Chapel
The only known photo which shows Hertford Cemetery Chapel in the 1960's

The Chapel was a comparatively small structure. The internal measurements, as indicated by the present cleared area, were 14 feet by 22 feet. The floor was wooden blocks (parquet) and until recently the pattern could still be seen on the site.
 
There was a wooden wainscot to the walls to a height of about four and a half feet. Along the north and south wall there were pews, on the north side the pews extended the whole length of the wall but only partially so on the south side, as at the west end there was a Minister's Stall and an alter on a dais. The alter ornaments consisted of a wooden cross and two wooden candle sticks. These ornaments since the chapels demolition were to be found in St Andrews Church but unfortunately they were stolen in September 1996. Daylight came from large windows in the north and south walls and artificial illumination was provided by both oil lamps and candles. The decoration is recalled as being in pastel shades following World War II but by the 1970's as being off-white and mauve.
 
By the early 1900's space in St Andrews Cemetery was beginning to run short. As a result of this the council acquired a larger plot of land to the north west of the existing cemetery and in 1906 the Corporation Cemetery was opened.
 
Today the Corporation Cemetery is still fully functional and now includes two garden areas for the interment of cremated remains. The Cemetery is situated on the North Road (A119) with the main entrance to the left in Bramfield Road. The nearest railway station is Hertford North (45 minutes from Kings Cross or Moorgate) which the cemetery is approximately 10 minutes walk to the north.
 
I would like to thank Hertford Museum for their help and information.


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Main gates in Bramfield Road

Medieval remains found at Priory site in Hertford

Hertford Cemetery

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Site where the Chapel once stood

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