The cemetery has had various titles including The Cemetery by the Common, Hill Lane Cemetery and is currently known as Southampton Old Cemetery. An Act of Parliament was required in 1843 to acquire the land from Southampton Common. It covers an area of 27 acres (11 ha) and the total number of burials is estimated at 116,800. Currently there are 6 to 8 burials a year to existing family plots.
|Established||7 May 1846|
Cemetery Road, Southampton
|Owned by||Southampton City Council|
|Size||27 acres (11 ha)|
|No. of graves||116,800|
On 9 November 1841, Southampton Town Council resolved "that the Town Clerk be directed to give notice of an application to parliament at the next session for establishing a cemetery or burial ground on part of Southampton Common". The town council approached John Claudius Loudon. He was a well known landscaper, designer of arboretums and cemeteries including Histon Road Cemetery at Cambridge and Bath Abbey Cemetery. Loudon, normally based in London, had been staying on the Isle of Wight whilst his wife was writing a book. The damp sea air had a debilitating effect on his health and he moved to take temporary lodgings in Southampton. Southampton Town council had no previous experience of laying out a cemetery and was pleased that Loudon was conveniently available. They paid him £37 for his services, but decided not to use his proposed layout. The Bishop of Winchester was not willing to concede that the proposed Anglican chapel would adjoin a nonconformist chapel.
As was customary in the planning of early cemeteries, the council held a competition and asked for suggested layouts to replace the one made by Loudon. A design by William Rogers, a local nurseryman and councillor, was accepted and he was awarded the contract.
The cemetery was opened on 7 May 1846 when the Bishop of Winchester consecrated part of the grounds. A section was left unconsecrated for the "Dissenters" (non-conformists) and agnostics while another part was provided for the Hebrew community. In 1856, the Roman Catholics were given ground within the cemetery for their use.
The Southampton Cemetery Act 1843 allowed for up to 15 acres (6.1 ha) to be taken from the common but it was initially laid out as a 10 acres (4.0 ha) site with the remaining 5 acres (2.0 ha) being added in 1863. In 1884 a further act of parliament was obtained to transfer another 12 acres (4.9 ha) to the cemetery.
The cemetery has 60 headstones associated with the Titanic although no bodies were returned to Southampton.
The exiled Argentine politician, General Rosas was initially buried in Southampton Old Cemetery until his body was exhumed in 1989 and repatriated to the La Recoleta Cemetery in Argentina. His tomb remains as a memorial. His grandson Manuel Terrero and his wife, the militant suffragette Janie Terrero are buried here.
Moon is one of 140 identified casualties in the cemetery whose graves are registered and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, 125 from World War I and 15 from World War II. A war graves plot contains the graves of 21 Belgian servicemen.
Charles Rawden Maclean (1815–1880), alias "John Ross" friend of King Shaka and an opponent of slavery, died on board a ship bound for Southampton and was buried in a pauper's grave. On 2 May 2009, the grave was marked with a headstone in a ceremony attended by representatives of his home town, Fraserburgh, and of the Zulu nation.
There is also a memorial to the RMS Rhone, wrecked off the coast of Salt Island in the British Virgin Islands on 29 October 1867 during a hurricane with the loss of over 120 lives. The memorial was badly damaged by vandals in October 2011.
The Robert Pearce family grave is marked by a sculpture depicting the figures of Faith, Hope and Charity, surmounted by a draped urn. The memorial was sculpted by Richard Cockle Lucas from Chilworth and is English Heritage Listed, Grade II.
- Former Jewish Mortuary Chapel (now part of a house) (c. 1850)
- Church of England Mortuary Chapel (c. 1850)
- Allen Memorial (neo-classical mausoleum dating to about 1900 built of Portland stone ashlar blocks)
- Lodge (dated 1848 and 1882)
- Gate piers to eastern gate (c. 1880)
- Pearce Memorial (erected 1861)
- Wall fronting Hill Lane (mid-19th century)
- Gates and gate piers (c. 1880)
- Nonconformist Mortuary Chapel (c. 1850)
- Gate piers to north-western gate (mid-19th century)
The cemetery's ecology is managed by the wildlife team from Southampton City Council in conjunction with Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery, a voluntary group who also take guided tours and assist families to maintain graves.
- "Southampton Town Council meeting". Hampshire Telegraph. 15 November 1841 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- Thomson, Sheila D (1989). Southampton Common. City of Southampton Society. pp. 23–24. OCLC 655858743.
- "Southampton Cemetery". The Heritage List. Historic england. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
- Johnson, Lyman (2004). Death, dismemberment, and memory: body politics in Latin America. United States: University of New Mexico Press. pp. 108–122. ISBN 0-8263-3200-5.
- Janie Terrero - The Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery
- "Edwin Rowland Moon 1886–1920". Centenary of Flight. Hampshire County Council. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2010.
- "Southampton Old Cemetery". CWGC. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
- "John Ross Memorial". Fraserburgh Heritage Centre. 30 April 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
- "Charles Barr". Some personalities associated with Southampton. City of Southampton Society. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- "Southampton: The Old Cemetery". Tripadvisor. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- "Memorial to Southampton's sailors killed in hurricane vandalised". BBC News. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
- Blake, Gillian (2008). "Southampton Old Cemetery, Pearce family grave". Parks and Gardens UK. Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "Listed Buildings in Southampton" (PDF). Historic Environment Record. Southampton City Council. pp. 46–53. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 October 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- Historic England. "Jewish Mortuary Chapel at Southampton Old Cemetery (1092034)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
- Historic England. "Church of England Mortuary Chapel at Southampton Old Cemetery (1178693)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
- Historic England. "Allen memorial in Southampton Old Cemetery (1392632)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
- Historic England. "Lodge to Southampton Old Cemetery (1092077)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
- Historic England. "Eastern Gate Piers to Southampton Old Cemetery (1392552)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
- Historic England. "Pearce Memorial at Southampton Old Cemetery (1389740)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
- Historic England. "Wall to Southampton Old Cemetery fronting Hill Lane (1339993)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
- Historic England. "Gates and gate piers to Southampton Old Cemetery (1339974)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
- Historic England. "Nonconformist Mortuary Chapel at Southampton Old Cemetery (1092078)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
- Historic England. "North Western gate to Southampton Old Cemetery (1392553)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
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