Record Details

NHER Number:26477
Type of record:Monument
Name:Rosary Cemetery


Rosary Cemetery is the oldest nondenominal Christian cemetery in Britain. It was laid out in 1819, and opened between 1819 and 1821, but was mainly used by Dissenters, due to it being unconsecrated. It was promoted by Rev Thomas Drummond, but not recognized by the Bishop until 1821.The Cemetery Lodge (NHER 48249) was built in Tudor-Gothic mode in 1860 by J S Benest, and the Mortuary Chapel (NHER 26170) in 1879 by Boardman, also in Gothic style.

The Cemetery was extended in 1924 by Captain Sandys-Winsch, and again 1932. Some land to the east was sold off in 1964. There are a number of prestigious monuments, including the 1878 mausoleum of Emanuel Cooper, a celebrated eye surgeon, and the 1849 cast iron sarcophagus of Jeremiah Cozens. It is recorded that crowds visiting the cemetery in the summer led to the employment of a policeman in 1880.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 2443 0848
Map Sheet:TG20NW

Full description

Oldest nondenominal Christian cemetery in Britain.
Opened between 1819 and 1821 but was mainly used by Dissenters, due to it being unconsecrated. No record of planting before 1841. New office by Benest 1860 and new chapel by Boardman 1879. Crowds visiting in summer led to the employment of a policeman in 1880. Extended 1924 by Captain Sandys-Winsch and again 1932. Some land to east sold off 1964. Many prestigious monuments and dense planting. Norfolk Historic Gardens Survey grade three star for obvious national importance.
See survey for details.
E. Rose (NLA), 21 July 1998.

Added to English Heritage Register of Parks as Grade II in 2001.
Text agrees with Norfolk Gardens Survey but area extended to east.
E. Rose (NLA), 18 December 2001.

1982. Norwich Survey.
See (S1), which includes (S2).
T. E. Miller (NLA), 11 January 2006.

January 2010.
Cemetery given Grade II* status,
See (S3) for further details,
H. White, (NLA), 29 January 2010.

See plans in Illustration Library (oversize).

Monument Types

  • CEMETERY (19th Century - 1819 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Registered Park or Garden

Sources and further reading

---Designation: English Heritage. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.. p 32.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 342.
---Publication: Friends of the Rosary. 2006. The Rosary Cemetery.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2009. Discovering the nature of life and death. 17 October.
---Map: Smithurst, J.M.. 1979. City of Norwich Rosary Cemetery.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2005. Record of a Victorian burial place. 31 October.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1994? -2011?. English Heritage Digital Designation Record. Record. DNF572.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Carter, A.. Building Survey.
<S2>Unpublished Document: Elliot, B.. Notes on the Rosary - England's First Non-demoninational Cemetery.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Cemetery joins local history elite. 29 January.

Related records

26170Parent of: Chapel at Rosary Road Cemetery, Rosary Road (Building)
48249Parent of: Rosary Cemetery Lodge, Rosary Road (Building)

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