Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land, and their loyalty to high idealsSir William Gladstone
The Friends of Horton Cemetery is a charitable organisation whose goal is to bring dignity and respect to the thousands of mental health patients, including war heroes, who died within the Epsom Cluster of asylums and are buried, forgotten and unmarked on a neglected piece of land in Surrey, England.
Our ambitious plans include reclaiming the derelict site and transforming it into a beautiful, calming garden-arboretum, with a lasting memorial and ‘book of the dead’ containing the names and details of all known burials.
We are already bringing these unfortunate souls back into modern memory, by creating, through our network of volunteer genealogists, life stories that are published right here on our website, often highlighting the plight of those afflicted with mental illness in the early 20th century. Each story is told in the volunteer’s own words.
The 5-acre site, the largest abandoned hospital cemetery in the UK and Europe holding burials from 1902 to 1955, was sold by the Department of Health & Social Care in 1983 to a property developer who has since let it become the derelict wasteland it is today; littered with drink/drug paraphernalia, spare tyres, badger holes, brambles, and even the odd scattering of human bones.