Seaford Cemetery is the town's municipal burial site, between the Alfriston Road and the Cradle Hill Road's fire station and Industrial Estate. It dates from 1897, by which time the churchyards at St Leonard's and St Peter's were deemed "full" and further burials were prohibited by an Order In Council.
Compared with the confined space at St Peter's and often cramped proximity of graves at St Leonard's, the cemetery's appearance is of an altogether more open, better ordered area. The land inclines gently, but lacks the distinctive churchyard lumps and bumps of earlier burials; it is not without them entirely, particularly closest to the entrance where the first burials took place and whatever grave markers may have been used are gone. Nor are all the gravestones upright and as first placed. The lack of perfection, however, lends it character and it is far from soulless.
Seaford Cemetery looking towards the Chapel & Commonwealth Memorial
Some of the styles of memorial in the cemetery
The whole of the cemetery is classed as a dedicated area (reserved for burials). About half of the older, larger Main Area is consecrated ground (sanctified by the Church of England), the remainder being for Non-Conformists, which in practice meant that Anglicans were interred to the West and Roman Catholics to the East. The Main Area was full by about 1972, and all more recent burials have since taken place in the Northern and Eastern extensions, which wind round the back of two residential closes on the northern edge of Seaford where it meets the South Downs. The Chapel for services in the centre of the older part used to have a bell in the small tower. The Eastern extension includes smaller, more intimate areas reserved for children, Muslims, cremation urns and the scattering of ashes. Memorial tablets, wall-mounted or set in a border, are also to the north of the Main Area.
The cemetery is open from 9am to dusk every day. Parking is limited, but visitors may park around the Chapel in the Main Area, in the central part of the Northern Extension, or in the car park in the Eastern Extension. Vehicles should avoid using the narrower paths intended for pedestrian and maintenance access. There is a public convenience near the main gate (behind the Gatekeeper's Lodge). Taps and watering cans for flowers are located at various points.
Although plans are provided here for the convenience of visitors, SeaMIG decided not to record the memorials on gravestones in the Eastern Extension. They were deemed "too recent" to need saving for posterity. A fair number are also liable to change as new interments take place. For further information about Seaford Cemetery contact Lewes District Council.