Rectory Lane Cemetery was opened in 1842 on a ground behind the Elizabethan manor, Egerton House (now the site of the Rex Cinema), by Carlotte Catherine Anne, Countess of Bridgewater and widow of John Egerton, 7th Earl of Bridgewater. The cemetery is situated between Three Close Lane and the old St Peter’s rectory and is a hidden gem of Berkhamsted’s heritage.
The cemetery contains several Commonwealth War Graves from both World War I and World War II, and among the notable burials is the grave of General Horace Smith-Dorrien, a veteran of the Second Boer War and World War I and former Governor of Gibraltar.
It was extended in 1921 but by the late 1940s the cemetery was filling up and a new civic cemetery was opened at nearby Kingshill. The Rectory Lane Cemetery Project is the Friends’ flagship project to restore the area as a community green space.