Later this spring, we’re going to start work on the extension to the Ashley Road cemetery.
In 1869, the council established the Epsom Burial Board to find a solution to the shortage of burial spaces for local residents. The following year the board purchased five acres of land between the roads now known as Downs Road and Ashley Road for the site of a multi-denominational cemetery.
The first interment took place in 1871. This was Elizabeth Dorling, the mother of Mrs Beeton, of household management fame.
In 1923 the first extension of the cemetery took place and over the years there have been a series of extensions moving ‘up the hill’ towards the racecourse.
There are now over 30,000 people buried in the cemetery, with an additional 170 interments each year. It is anticipated that the latest extension will serve the borough for the next 25-30 years.
Access to the new area will be introduced from the current cemetery. As well as pathways, the council is going to undertake a planting scheme of native trees to increase the biodiversity of the area as well as to ensure the new cemetery retains the peaceful and pleasant environment so many visitors appreciate. This initial programme of work should be completed by late summer.