The former Horton hospital cemetery no longer exists.
The Surrey Monumental Inscriptions Index has 20 names from this cemetery.
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Friends of Surrey Cemeteries (Surrey Cemeteries: a survey, 2012):
Hook Road, Epsom.
Tin chapel and handful of memorials. All now gone. Opened 1902 and closed 1955.
Unconsecrated ground for patients of the Epsom cluster of (mental) hospitals
SHC 6275/1/ burial register 1907-57 on film. Alpha list grave no/name/date SHC 6336/1, 2 burial registers 4 Apr 1902-29 Mar 1955 on film – 3515 burials Closed when full 31st Mar 1955.
Visited 2005. Site now overgrown and fence along Hook road broken in places. New memorial at the roadside on Horton road near the roundabout. Museum had some records and had mounted an exhibition 5 years ago which included aerial view of site plus pictures of a few memorials grouped together plus picture from the road showing the top of the tin chapel.
Museum curator – Jeremy Harte 0208 394 1734. Activists – Maureen & Ron Berry 01372 727 449 – 17 Nimbus Road, Epsom KT19 9BL. Dean Bush 01344 868 226.
Formed in 1888 the LCC took over responsibility for the mentally ill. 1896 purchased large area of land at Horton. Cluster of hospitals was to house over 10,000 patients and to include, the Manor 1898, Horton 1901, Epileptic Colony (St Ebba’s) 1902, Long Grove 1907 and West Park 1924.
Epsom cemetery had been opened in 1871 and council did not want its peace and dignity spoilt by an influx of pauper lunatics. In 1898 some burials there but the council told the Asylums Committee that it would need its own cemetery. 1899 the Engineer Clifford Brown came to find a site which would be away from the hospitals but easy to get to. The corner of Hook lane and Horton road fitted the bill and was already owned by the LCC. Unfortunately it was on sticky clay soil hence drains had to be laid below the grave level to prevent them water logging. A holding pond the other side of Horton lane was built.
The cemetery was planned to hold 900 graves in rows either side of a central path (rows a, b, c and d from path). It was to be surrounded by an iron fence 4’6” high costing £118.15/-. (like the hospital) inside which was a raised bank with a privet hedge. Works cost £869 (less than half original budget) including £252 for the Tin Tabernacle built by Messrs Wm Harbrow (other quotes £407 & £420) – A wooden framework with corrugated iron sheeting on the outside and felt and match boarding on the inside. It had pointed windows and a little turret.
First burial 31st July 1899 – Annie James from the Manor: shroud cost 8d, gravediggers 10/-6d and £1.12/-6d (the agreed fee – other quotes £2) to the undertaker – James Ockenden.
The Manor managed the cemetery. Double rows of poplar trees were planted in 1901. In 1903 the cemetery was enlarged. Each grave had a metal marker. By the 1920s up to 3 burials being made in each grave. Alfred Hillier took over as cemetery keeper in 1925 on 58/-6d for a 47 hour week. The bodies were wheeled down to the Tabernacle before the funeral – each individual had their own service but burials were often done in batches. Before the funeral they would have rested in the chapel of the individual hospital. People with no friends outside the hospital could be passed on for dissection at 1/- a body in 1903.
Relatives were permitted to erect memorials if they wished. Sarah Hubbard died a month after entering the Manor in Sep 1901 and her brother erected a headstone for her. It would appear that 30 or 40 memorials in all were erected over 50 years.
During the war Horton hospital became a military hospital.
Cemetery closed in 1955, Tabernacle demolished and area became a Garden of Rest. Kept in good order until the 70s then left to decline. Sold to property developer in 1983.
Horton Cemetery is in the modern ecclesiastical parishan ecclesiastical parish is an administrative area within the Church of England or Roman Catholic church. It is distinct from the civil parish, a local government unit in England of Epsom St. Barnabus.
West Surrey Family History Society CD10 (The Surrey Burial Index - 2nd edition 2009) has burial records for:
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The Horton Estate is in the Epsom and Ewell District of Surrey
Unless otherwise stated the dates for the creation of parishes are taken from Youngs, Frederick. A. Guide to the Administrative Units of England; Royal Historical Society: London, 1979 volume 1 Southern England.
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