The Lewes Road Cemeteries

Lewes Road Cemetaries

At Brighton in 1849, there were 1,469 deaths. With St Nicholas burial grounds expanded to their limits, and with a rapidly growing population, the need for further burial grounds became acute, and in 1850 the first of the Lewes Road burial grounds – the Brighton Extra Mural Cemetery – founded as a private venture, was established on 13 acres of land to the south of Bear Road.

In May 1853, the sexton of St Nicholas reported that – with works to dig our chalk –  space at the St Nicholas Grounds for parish burials would be exhausted within twelve months, and in early 1854 the problem was compounded as the Parish received notice that, under the provisions of the Burials Beyond The Metropolis Act 1853, burials at St Nicholas and any other church or chapel in Brighton were to be prohibited from June of that year. This announcement precipitated urgent negotiations with landowners to secure additional grounds – a process which was finally resolved in 1856, when the Marquess of Bristol felt able to make a gift of 20 acres of land immediately to the south of the Extra Mural, and in 1857, the Brighton Parochial Cemetery was founded now known as Woodvale.

A third cemetery opened north of Bear Road and opposite the Extra Mural Cemetery in 1868: it covers 31.5 acres and is known as City Cemetery or Bear Road Cemetery.

In 1886, the Brighton and Preston Cemetery  opened on 30 acres of land southeast of the Woodvale Cemetery, and in 1919, the  Meadowview Jewish Cemetery was laid out on land between the Bear Road Cemetery and the Meadowview estate. The 3.5-acre  site was extended in 1978 when 1.5 acres   was added to the northeast.