The Mount Cemetery is in the Ancient Parishan Ancient Parish is a Church of England parish which, until the 19th century, had both ecclesiastical and civil functions of Guildford, St Nicolas.
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Friends of Surrey Cemeteries (Surrey Cemeteries: a survey, 2012):
Weyside road, Guildford. Opened 1856. 2 chapels – one now demolished. Area c 10 acres. Original area now closed. Lodge burnt down with all records. Guildford DC, GU1 1HZ. 01483 444711.
Talk at Guildford Institute by Roger Nicholas in 2005. 1852 Burial Act to close all churchyards by 1 Nov 1855 hence Holy Trinity, St Marys and St Nicholas formed a joint burial board. Various areas offered including land at Stoke, Loseley park, Pickards farm, Peasmarsh etc.
Home Office pressurised board to decide – Sir George Grey sent a representative to Guildford. Final extension of opening date obtained April 1856. Negotiations with Brookwood – burial board were offered pauper burials at 21/-6d but no separate Guildford Ground for middle class burials.
Bookers tower 70ft high built 1839 prior to cemetery. Land originally owned by Charles Booker of Quarry Street, corn merchant and miller + 3 times mayor. Sold by him to Dr James Stedman from whom he leased 40ft of land back for tower to commemorate death of his 2 sons at 15 – Charles Collyer from smallpox (15 Dec 1824), Henry drowned in the Wey near town wharf. Buried in Holy Trinity churchyard. Charles died 18 May 1840 @ 70.
At the October 1855 meeting the Rev Henry Shrub produced a letter from Dr James Stedman who owned Bishops Croft on the Mount offering 4 acres (4a 0r 31p) at £150 per acre. He stipulated that a track be left from the road to Bookers tower. The track and tower were subsequently incorporated in the cemetery. Home Office satisfied as long as neighbours within 100yds were happy. Hence the cemetery finally laid out and opened in October 1856 in Cradle/Great hilly fields for £1850 of which Rev Henry Shrub donated £250. Filmer and Mason contracted to provide the fencing from their ironworks. The firm of Jane Moon and Sons built 2 chapels and a lodge. (Non-conformist chapel subsequently demolished and Lodge destroyed by fire which also destroyed cemetery records). Lodge keeper employed at £30 p/a. Early rules specified monument height of less than 4ft. Cemetery split roughly 50/50 consecrated/non con (no RC as 1st catholic only came to Guildford in 1850s).
Anglican chapel has subsequently become an English orthodox chapel with its burials in area n/c chapel used to occupy. Stedman ordered a light funeral cart (hand bier) to bring bodies up the hill from the town. A similar bier used by Lewis Carroll. The Lion Hotel in the High Street had a hearse and matching carriages.
In Sep 1893 it was announced in the Surrey Advertiser that the Burial board was purchasing about 4 acres on the west side for £400 an acre from W More-Molyneux. Total cost £2100 to be split between parishes of Holy Trinity, St Mary & St Nicholas – previous costs had been split evenly but now sizes differed considerably and St Mary’s, much the smallest, requested costs to be in proportion to rateable values. Burial board agreed this seemed equitable and proposed this to the other parishes. The situation of “Bowling Green” parish, previously excluded was also discussed and it was agreed it should be treated as part of Holy Trinity. Both proposals were accepted by all.
Cemetery extended on far side of Booker tower track in 1894 by about 6 acres. Metal plot markers in old cemetery – modern, some stone/terracotta number plaques
Records for new cemetery still extant. Index of names on memorials prepared by Historical society – copy in SHC 929.5p. Includes maps and descriptions of stones. Handwritten notebooks of inscriptions at Guildford Archaeological Society HQ at Castle Arch. SHC 6798/File 27 rules and regulations 1908
Visited in 2005 and found to be in good condition, well maintained. Many mature shrubs and trees. Yews pruned to circa 7ft. WC. Chapel now Orthodox church locked. Some very nice pieces of Compton ware in extension including a piano and a pan on pipes with 2 rabbits. Extension regimented but a good range of memorials. Plantings less in extension but still well kept. Wooden fencing round this area. No mausolea. Some seats. Areas left unmowed for wildflowers.
Council website states that they have a rolling programme of memorial testing – 35kg pressure stated with justification being cemetery children deaths and health and safety legislation.
West Surrey Family History Society CD8 (The The Guildford Collection) has marriage records for Guildford St. Nicolas from to 1837; Baptisms to 1840 and Burials to 1865.
West Surrey Family History Society CD10 (The Surrey Burial Index) has burial records for Guildford St. Nicolas from 1561 to 1865
West Surrey Family History Society CD30(Ancient Parishes in the Guildford District) has Baptismal records for Guildford St. Nicolas from 1562 to 1840, Marriages from 1561 to 1837 and Burial records from 1561 to 1865,
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The Mount Cemetery is in the Guildford 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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