The northern extension to St Nicholas Ground (which now includes the popular children’s playground) received its first occupant in 1825, having been formally consecrated by the Bishop of Chichester the year previous.
From the Brighton Gazette July 1824:
‘The Bishop of Chichester arrived here on Tuesday evening for the purpose of consecrating the new burying ground; yesterday morning at 11 o’clock his lordship proceeded to the church where divine service was performed by the Rev. Mr. Wagner. After the service was concluded, the Bishop; attended by the clergy, proceeded in procession to the new ground. A small circular spot had been slightly enclosed for the performance of the ceremony, in the centre of which a table, &c were placed. The Rev Dr. Holland then read the deeds relative to the ground, which were signed by the Bishop who then read the prayers usual on these occasions and the church choir sung the 6th, 7th and 8th verses of the 39th Psalm. The Bishop then gave his benediction, and the procession, amid the ringing of bells, returned to the church. Mr T Attree acted as deputy registrar for Josiah Smith, Esq. We were happy to observe that his Lordship appeared in excellent health. He returned to Lancing at 4 O’clock to dinner. The new ground is one statute acre in extent, and it is to be surrounded by a wall nine feet in height.’
623 monuments were recorded in 1950, before the clearances. These contain the first names of 534 of those remembered. Of these 238 are male and 284 female. The most common male names are: John, William, Thomas, George, James, Henry, Richard and Robert. The most common female names are; Elizabeth, Mary, Sarah, Ann, Jane, Charlotte and Caroline; with the most common name of all being Elizabeth.
As a collection, the names of those remembered at this part of the Gardens have a certain ineffable quality; as well as the titular Captain Custard, we have Blackadder, Mrs Tickler, a woman named Dudley and Mrs Fanny Tuck; all deserving of future research.
For likers of lists, the complete first names and number of occurrences are copied below.