Rectory Lane Cemetery, Berkhamsted


News Release

1st September 2017

The Friends of St Peter’s are hosting their fourth Heritage Open Day on Sunday 10th September 14.00 – 17.30.
Visitors will be able to see the progress of the project in the last three years and follow self-guided tours to learn about the plans for this peaceful haven. Volunteers will be on hand at strategic points around the three-acre site to explain the history of the Cemetery and explain the enhancements planned with the recent grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
James Moir Convenor of the Rectory Lane Project said “All are welcome and we are particularly keen to meet with stakeholders who are neighbours or local families to chat to them about how the site will change over the next three years. Work will be phased and detailed announcements prior to work commencing people will be available via local noticeboards and our website.
“We have had very positive feedback on the changes to date and look forward to hearing further feedback.”
Among the key points of interest are:
1. Rectory Lane entrance

Restoration and repair to the pillars and gates, new surfacing
Area for accessible short-term parking (blue badge holders only)

2. Yew Tree Walk and Rector’s Gate
Opening up of historic link form the Old Rectory to the Cemetery
New entrance archway
New Irish yew trees to accentuate avenue

3. 1842 Foundation Stone & Inscription

Cleaning of Commemorative stone and inscription.
Planting, new seating, surfaced footpaths and steps enhance setting and views

4. Seating/Picnic Area with cluster of architecturally significant memorials

Improved access to new seating area
Trees trimmed to allow views over lower areas of Cemetery
Area of grass reinforcement for temporary refreshment kiosk and seating
New Irish yew trees to accentuate avenue

5. Activity & Events Area

Demountable waterproof canopy for occasional events
using historical ellipse hard standing as viewing area

6. Historic Cemetery Boundary
Improved restoration & enhancement of Memorial Arch and Seat of Remembrance
Surface to existing paths
Interpretation of historic entrance steps to Highfield House (now Three Close Lane)
Management of existing Irish yew trees and planting to strengthen the avenue and ensure succession

7. Contemplation & Remembrance Garden

New Remembrance Garden: Memorial Wall & War Memorial
Planting and seating with views out of the cemetery

8. Interpretation, Welcome & Drop-off

Access to cemetery from Three Close Lane
Restoration works to existing gates
New surfacing
Welcome & information board

9. Sexton’s Hut Memorial Shrine

Restoration of the Sexton’s Hut for use during memorial services

10. Health & Nature

Area managed for biodiversity & well-being
Reinstatement of estate railing and gates to introduce sheep grazing
New tree planting, tree removal & management
Replacement of stone steps & new handrails
New seating

About the Friends of St Peter’s
Launched in 2013 it is a Registered Charity (Registered Charity Number 1160314). The Friends encourage a wider appreciation of the church and its churchyards as a rich store of local and architectural history. Together with the Cowper Society they are responsible for the management of concerts, recitals and other events in St Peter’s Church. They organise social and fund-raising events and act as a focus and resource for all who are interested in the continuing history of our town. The Friends provide an opportunity for individuals, families, local institutions and businesses to become involved in the care and conservation of this irreplaceable heritage.
For Friends of St Peters: Elaine Mercer 07866118749 elainelmercer@yahoo.co.uk or Dr James Moir 07545 786372