This tranquil burial ground was opened in October 1873 by the Tunbridge Wells Town Commissioners – forerunners of today’s borough council – to serve local people of all denominations and none. Situated on a lofty tract of the ancient Frant Forest, its sandstone walls, gate lodges and twin chapels were quarried on the site itself. Those chapels are today listed as heritage buildings.
As the trees and plants matured, the cemetery was described in local guidebooks as one of the most beautiful in England. Over the years many fascinating sculptured memorials erected to commemorate the dead have added to its interest and beauty. In other parts increasingly rare wild flowers including orchids continue to flourish and are being cherished today to provide a haven for bees and butterflies.
Working closely with the Council and all who care about this very special last resting place, the Friends of Tunbridge Wells Cemetery are dedicated to conserving and enhancing its environment and heritage features so that they may be enjoyed in perpetuity.
Opened at a cost of £4,000 in the 19th century, Tunbridge Wells Cemetery is owned and operated by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council for the benefit of its residents and the wider local community. Initially covering an area of 20 acres, the cemetery saw its first interment on 14 October 1873, and after two further land extensions it now covers 26 acres whilst benefiting from a Grade 2 Listed Cemetery Chapel capable of seating 55 people.
The cemetery remains open for burials, with a public waiting room and toilets close to the chapel for visitor’s use.