Resting in Peace
Opened in 1855, Dorking Cemetery now has somewhere for everyone: it’s multi-faith. Despite its location on the busy Reigate Road, upon entering through the archway of the lodge an air of tranquillity prevails. A sculpture park for the dead has the rolling Surrey Hills as a backdrop. The pretty flint faced (red roofed) lodge, the (gable ended) Anglican chapel and the (high hipped) nonconformist chapel were all completed the following year. The builder was Cubitt and Sons; the architect, Henry Clutton (1819 to 1893). The same year the cemetery opened, Henry Clutton along with William Burges won a competition to design Lille Cathedral. But after much brouhaha and not a little anti-English sentiment, the executed scheme was built to the design of local architect Charles Leroy, despite him only coming third place.
Company founder Thomas Cubitt (1788 to 1855) was a highly successful housebuilder and developer, best known for developing Belgravia and Lower Belgravia (Pimlico). Stuccoed neoclassical terraces are synonymous with his surname. There’s a statue to Thomas Cubitt in the centre of Dorking: “A great builder and a good man.” He lived just outside the town. Thomas Cubitt has the double honour of having a gastropub named after him on Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, and being the great great great grandfather of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Cubitt and Sons continued as a building company for several decades after his demise.