Rectory Lane Cemetery

Until the mid-19th Century, St Peter's churchyard was used for town burials, but but like many burial grounds in England at the time, it became overcrowded. Carlotte Catherine Anne, Countess of Bridgewater (widow of John Egerton, 7th Earl of Bridgewater), gave to the parish approximately one acre of land for use as a cemtery. This land lies behind the Rex Cinema, between the old Rectory and Three Close Lane. It was opened in 1842 and consecrated by the Bishop of Lincoln. Allowance was made for future expansion and in 1921 the south-west wall was demolished and the adjoining piece of ground was consecrated.

By the late 1940s much of this land had been used and a new civic cemetery was opened at Kingshill Cemetery. Rectory Lane Cemtery is now no longer in use for burials. If you require information about the modern cemeteries please contact Dacorum Borough Council.

the cemeteryToday the cemetery is a tranquil green space which is enjoyed by locals. There are entrance gates on Rectory Lane and higher up on Three Close Lane. The cemeteryis divided by a terrace into upper and lower parts. The rows are numbered from the upper end. Work is currently underway to tidy up the cemetery; the Friends of St Peter's are running a project to tidy overgrown graves and to improve public access.

the cemetery

War graves

Rectory Lane cemetery contains several war graves from the two World Wars. In all, there are 14 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and 13 of the Second World War here.

Among the notable burials is the grave of General Horace Smith-Dorrien, a veteran of the Second Boer War and World War I and a former Governor of Gibraltar.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery records

Graves Research

 Find a Grave

There are over one thousand plots in the cemetery, so the list is very long. This list is also available as an Excel spreadsheet which allows you to search by name, date etc.

Search by:

List of Inscriptions

Click on a heading below to reveal or hide the lists of grave plots. Inscriptions list compiled by Eric Holland and OCRed

Download the Excel
spreadsheet list of graves

Spreadsheet compiled by Linda Rollitt

Plots 1-99

Plots 100-199

Plots 200-299

Plots 300-399

Plots 400-499

Plots 500-599

Plots 600-699

Plots 700-799

Plots 800-899

Plots 900-999

Plots 1000-1999

Plots 1100-1173


Useful resources

If you are researching a burial, there are a few sources to help you:

book cover of Monumental Inscriptions in the Parish of Great Berkhamsted St Peter Monumental Inscriptions in the Parish of Great Berkhamsted St Peter
Hertfordshire Family History Society, 2016
Price £9.00

This fascinating book includes a detailed map of the burials in Rectory Lane Cemetery and the memorials inside the church. A must for anyone interested in local heritage and family history!

Order online from the HFHS


friends websiteFriends of St Peter's
If you are unable to locate a grave in Rectory Lane, the Friends of St Peter’s have researched the history of some of the people who are buried in the Cemetery.

You can also contact the Friends with any research queries.


Further help









For more information please contact: