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Enjoy local history and conservation at The Holy Ghost Cemetery

The Holy Ghost Cemetery, Basingstoke is also known as South View Cemetery.

The burial ground on Chapel Hill has been in use since 1208 during the reign of King John when burials could not take place in consecrated ground due to a dispute with Pope Innocent III. The cemetery was consecrated in 1214 and The Chapel of the Fraternity of the Holy Ghost, was completed around 1244.

Holy Ghost Cemetary

This 13th Century building was greatly enlarged in 1524 by Lord Sandys of The Vyne, when he added the Chapel of the Holy Trinity to the south side of the chancel as a private burial place for the Sandys family. Both Chapels are now Grade II listed buildings and scheduled ancient monuments.

In 1858 the cemetery was greatly extended into the current footprint to accommodate the growing population and wealth of the town. Two Gothic chapels were built serving the Episcopalian and Dissenter mourners, both of which have now been demolished, and the Cemetery Lodge on Chapel Hill which is now a Grade II listed building.

Several important local figures are buried in the cemetery including Thomas Burberry, the clothing manufacturer, Alfred Milward of Milwards Shoes, John Mares, supplier of polar clothing and raincoats and John Aidan Liddell, Victoria Cross.

The cemetery was closed for new burials in about 1912 when a cemetery in Worting Road was opened but is still being used for the internment of ashes.

The Holy Ghost Cemetery is a precious green space in the centre of the town and includes areas of chalk grassland and cemetery landscapes with feature trees and public footpaths. Plus, a community garden provides easy access to the cemetery from Vyne Road – just behind Basingstoke railway station.

Spring Daffodils at the Holy Ghost Cemetary

This public green space is alive with bird life, spring bulb displays, wild orchids and wildflowers over the summer. The grassland area has been designed as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation.

Cinnabar cats on ragwort at The Holy Ghost Cemetery.

The cemetery is a very popular access route to the town centre from South View and used daily by dogwalkers and locals.

The Holy Ghost Cemetery is located in the centre of Basingstoke and can easily be reached on foot from Basingstoke Railway Station which forms one of the boundaries. The main entrance is halfway up Chapel Hill when leaving the town centre, but the site is easy walking distance from the town centre in less than ten mins.

Our website has five downloadable walking trails of the cemetery which are less than 30 minutes but cover the main attractions of the historical ruins and the monuments.

The South View Conservation Group is a group of volunteers who maintains the historical and ecological structure of the cemetery in collaboration with the council. This is a public cemetery and both the historical ruins, and the landscapes/monuments are cared for by the council.

We work in close liaison with the Green Spaces Community Development Officers at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Basingstoke Heritage Society and Hampshire Cultural Trust.

If you would like to join our friendly and very informal group made up of people of all ages who meet up about every month to maintain the biodiversity and historical integrity of the Holy Ghost Cemetery, feel free to contact us through our website. You will be made most welcome.

Blog written by The South View Conservation group.
April 2021

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