The way in which a society disposes of its dead can be a hallmark of civilisation.HM Government reply to a Parliamentary committee, 2001.
Horton Cemetery is the largest abandoned hospital cemetery in the UK and Europe and it’s right here in the Borough of Epsom and Ewell. We owe it to the dead to try and stop their resting place becoming tarmac.
The cemetery was sold by the NHS to a property developer in 1983. After several failed attempts at development, it has since become completely overgrown and derelict, an attractive dumping ground for fly-tippers, unwanted electrical appliances, not to mention human remains resurfacing.
This website honours those whose final resting place is The Horton Cemetery, created in 1899, where some 8,650 people were buried. By publishing known details of their lives we endeavour to substitute respect and recognition for neglect and abandonment. Our hope is that present and future generations will treat those afflicted with mental illness and other misfortunes no less equally to us all, in both life and death.
The aim of Friends of Horton Cemetery is to acquire the cemetery with a vision for the 5 acre site to become a public garden-arboretum-nature reserve, for calm walks, meditation and reading, with a suitable, lasting memorial to all those buried there.
This project relies on the support of a team of volunteer researchers, who are listed under ‘Friends and Patrons’. Each story is told in their own words.