Portslade cemetery is a beautiful cemetery where there are many trees of fine specimen, including oak, birch, and yew. The tree cover in the cemetery makes it special because the surrounding areas don’t have many trees occurring naturally. The cemetery is one with a rich history, beginning in the 1870s when development of the grounds started. Portslade spans across 2.8 ha or 7 acres of land and is situated next to the West Coastway railway line, accessible via the Trafalgar or Victoria Roads.
The chain of events that resulted in the development of Portslade cemetery was initiated when the need to find a new burial ground for residents of Portslade was paramount. The tiny churchyard around St Nicolas Church had been closed to any more burials and in 1871, the Portslade Burial Board was established and charged with the responsibility of finding another burial ground. The cemetery received three offers and finally decided to settle for John Hooper Smith offer of £1,000 guineas for four acres.
Design and construction
Edward Evan Scott was the architect who was charged with the task of preparing plans for the two Portslade cemetery chapels. He was asked to do this in November 1871 and a torn coloured plan in now kept in The Keep, neatly indicating features like flint work for the walls, Bath stone for the window ledges, and concrete foundations, among other special details. Scott was a well—known architect who had designed the Brackenbury Chapel at Portslade’s St Nicolas Church and St Andrew’s Church.
The chapels in the cemetery were built with flint and have peculiar pointed red brick insets. While the east side chapel was designated for the non-conformists, the one on the west side was designated for services of the Church of England. Nine tenders to build the chapels had been received by May 1872 and the lowest tender was provided by W. Watson of Steyning. George Miles of Portslade who was also a contender got the contract for the chapels’ paintwork about three years later.
Consecration and early burials
Portslade cemetery was consecrated on 9 November 1872 and Chichester’s bishop consecrated an addition piece of land 4 October 1896. To extend the cemetery, Portslade Council bought more land on 8 June 1904. With a frontage to Trafalgar Road and adjoining Victoria Road, the six-acre plot was bought for £3,760 from John Eardley Hall.
Samuel Scrace was one of the first to be buried on the grounds of Portslade cemetery. He passed away on 11 October 1874 at Hangleton and his grave is situated in the southern area of the cemetery close to the yew trees. A Royal Artillery captain of the 12th Brigade, Richard Keating was another early burial. He died at the age of 64 on 1 October 1877.
Portslade cemetery is an ideal location for those who are in search of a traditional burial or funeral service in Portslade. You can leave all the funeral arrangements to Brighton Funeral Directors. Call us anytime to kick-off the process.