The Friends of St. Peter's Berkhamsted

Friends of St Peter's, Great Berkhamsted

Landscaping works to start in Rectory Lane Cemetery on Monday 20th May

19 May 2019

From Monday 20th May, as part of ongoing Rectory Lane Cemetery Project landscaping, work will begin on several areas of the Cemetery.

Why has the blue storage container arrived in the Cemetery?   You may have noticed a large blue metal box next to the Sexton’s hut near the Three Close Lane entrance. This is necessary for the contractor to use in the next stage of the Project. Work will begin on the development of a new Garden of Remembrance in which new plants and seats will denote an area of quiet reflection as well as a Memorial wall. In addition, steps will be built to the upper terraces of the Cemetery and new fencing and gates will be installed.

We have chosen Will Jackson, a local landscape specialist, to work with us because of his previous experience and empathy with the project.  Will is based in the Old Methodist Chapel in Eggington near Leighton Buzzard and his team bring experience of many similar projects combining groundwork, utilities provision, construction, joinery and planting.

How long will the work take?  We expect the first tranche of work to take around 10 weeks, starting now.  Depending on weather we expect to have this completed so that we will be able to host various Heritage Open Days walks and talks between 13th and 22nd September. Details of these and other upcoming events will be posted on our FB page and website nearer the time.

What changes will I see at the end of all this?  This phase will deliver the landscaping and some planting, three cruciform seats designed by Andrew Ingram, winner of the ‘Seat to Remember’ Competition in 2016 and will prepare the area where the Memorial Wall will be built, together with a new more inclusive War Memorial.  We have been working with the local branch of the British Legion in re-locating the memorial from its current site near the Rectory Lane Gates. Previously some names were not included, and we are taking the opportunity to put this right.

Why are there footings at the top of the Cemetery? The preparatory work is for the Volunteer Facility – a hut which will sit on those four pillars to provide a shelter for anyone working in the Cemetery. We expect this to be in use for many years as even when the National Lottery-funded ‘Project’ is complete, volunteer labour will still be needed help with the gardening and maintenance of the improvements. The area has been chosen because according to the burial records there are no graves there.

Why isn’t the Sexton’s Hut being used for Volunteers? The Sexton’s Hut will be restored to how it would have been and used for interpretation of the Cemetery. So far it has proved very popular when Mr and Mrs Ghost are there telling stories about their work. Keep an eye out for more interesting activities there.

Has it been authorised? / Is this legal?  Yes. St Peter’s Church, the Parochial Church Council and Dacorum Borough Council who are jointly responsible for the Cemetery have given the go-ahead and where necessary statutory permissions for any construction works. All of these had to be in place for us to be granted the funds from the National Lottery for the transformation.

Who can I contact to ask further Questions? If you would like to discuss the changes in more detail, please do contact us: Dr James Moir, Project Manager, 07545 786372;  Kate Campbell, Community Engagement Officer, 07866 024254; Elaine Mercer, Press Officer, 07866 119749


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