Denne Cemetery trail

Denne Road Cemetery plays an important part in Horsham’s historic heritage. 

Laid to rest within these grounds are those whose lives and work made a significant contribution to the town and district.

Opened in July 1852, by 1856 the cemetery had become Horsham’s only permitted burial ground.

An ornate lychgate leads to the original St Mary’s section which contains notable graves from the mid-19th century.  By 1880 more space was needed, and the adjoining land was purchased for an extension. The lodge house was built at this time as a home for the sexton, the church officer who tended the grounds, and is now privately owned.

The larger part of the graveyard extension was consecrated (declared sacred) in 1885, with a section being left unconsecrated for ‘the burial of Dissenters or others who object to the ceremony’*.

Cemetery Gates - Denne Road Cemetery

Cemetery Gates - Denne Road Cemetery

By 1900 this new part was also becoming full, and land was purchased on Guildford Road for ‘Hills Cemetery’, still in use today.

Designated a Local Wildlife Site in 1992, today the cemetery is a haven for wildlife and considered of county-wide significance for its biodiversity.

Many of the mature trees, including the avenue of western red cedar (Thuja plicata) and giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), remain from the creation of the 1885 extension. Mr W. Egerton Hubbard of ‘Leonardslee’ had kindly supplied these. Alongside are rarer trees, formerly part of a ‘Peace Garden’ containing plants from Allied Countries who took part in WWII.

There were over 3000 burials in this cemetery. Most were unmarked, and many gravestones that once existed have been lost over time. Highlighted here are the stories of just a few of those people whose stones can still be seen.  Many more are detailed in ‘Waking the Dead: A Pocket Guide to Denne Road Cemetery’ by Susan C. Djabri, and in ‘Stories from the Stones’ - guided tours of the cemetery run in the summer months by Horsham Society.

Book an in person tour with the Horsham Society at www.horshamsociety.org.

The Hurst Family - William Pirie - Thomas Honywood

Dorothea Hurst c.1850s

The Hurst Family

This impressive stone memorial commemorates 15 members of an important Horsham family. The Hursts were the main landowners for Horsham in the 19th century.

William Pirie

William Pirie

1802 – 1868

Although born and educated in Scotland, William Pirie was Headmaster of Horsham Grammar School (Collyer’s) from the age of 20 until his death at 66.

Thomas Honywood

Thomas Honywood

1819 – 1888

Captain Thomas Honywood was one of Horsham’s most well-known residents during the 19th century.

The Russell Family - James King - John James Charman

W S Russell

The Russell Family

William Smart Russell was a tea and general grocer, running W. S. Russell and Son which was located on West Street and the Bishopric in Horsham.

James King Portrait

James King

1808 – 1878

The large tabletop tomb commemorates James King, a maltster (a person who prepares malt from grain for the purpose of brewing).

John James Charman

John James Charman

1886 – 1912

This stone, marking the burial place of Solomon and Mary Charman, also commemorates their son who was working as a saloon steward on the Titanic.