Eling Cemetery

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HCC Site ID. 1858 Parish: Totton & Eling
Designations: CA Area: c 3 ha
Access: Public Access Ownership: New Forest District Council

Location and site

Eling cemetery lies 5-10 metres above sea level in the curve of Eling Channel where it runs west out of the River Test. To the west is farm land and marsh, to the north the channel and village with its tide mill, to the east the road and church opposite and to the south woodland and further farmland. The old churchyard in the north-east corner is dense with mature trees and, with the woodland to the south and a line of trees on all the remaining boundaries, the cemetery is enclosed.

Historical Development

St Mary’s Church, on the east side of Eling Hill has a narrow graveyard extending south-west on the opposite side of the road. A strip of land 100 feet wide along the south side of this graveyard was purchased from the Barker-Mill Estate in 1939 in order to expand the space available for burials (HRO 51M76/A/2F/153). The area was further extended to its current size and in 1946 and was opened as a cemetery by the New Forest Rural District Council (this body was replaced in 1974 by the New Forest District Council). It forms an extension on two sides of the original graveyard which itself remains under the management of the church. The oldest graves are in the largest section which forms the south-west end, the sections running north-east from this and alongside the churchyard have been used later leaving the furthest east part still to be used.
The cemetery offers space for Church of England, Roman Catholic, unconsecrated and Romany Gypsy remains including a cremated remains section and woodland burial area. There is a list of accepted tree and shrub species for the woodland area which is planted with wild flowers and bulbs and managed for the benefit of wildlife and vegetation.

Current Description

The site is roughly L-shaped surrounding the churchyard on its south-west end and south-east length. It is managed as a formal lawned cemetery with a few kerbed plots from earlier times. More than half of the total area is the south-west section containing the earliest burials. There is a tarmac road from the entrance just north of the churchyard curving south-east and running through the centre of this section becoming a large circle before turning north-east to the other sections. Several tarmac paths extend either side of this road. There is a willow at the centre of the road circle and three red-leaved myrobalan plums in this section which is otherwise open. The south-western stretch, however, has been set aside as a woodland burial area and is developing: the trees (sweet gums, rowans, crab apples and further prunus species with some older oak and beech) are young but it will become a shady area with a very different character. The north-west corner of this section is set aside for cremated remains.
The stretch running north-east from this part and alongside the churchyard is separated into two sections and is divided from the first area by a 1.5 metre hawthorn and beech hedge with several semi-mature oak and maple trees plus two laburnums flanking a path through the hedge. The western half of it is open except for one or two birch trees and a large clump of shrubs. Separating this section from the furthest is a formal shrubbery with three clumps of hornbeam and a selection of low shrubs contained by low wooden rails. Pedestrian access to the furthest section is through this garden area and vehicular gates are located either side. The last section, furthest east and coming close to the properties on the west side of the road is currently developing. A road runs to its centre lined with immature hornbeams and a path leads from this road to the north corner where an area has been hedged in with yew to form a children’s grave area. The graves face north-west on the north side of the short road where in the rest of the cemetery the graves lie uniformly facing north-east.
There is vehicle access to all areas of the cemetery which has a speed limit of 5mph and is used by mourners and visitors at all times.


Eling cemetery is an example of mid 20th century burial ground expansion with a thoughtful design. It has changing characters: the broad open unplanted area in the west seems more part of its wider landscape while the smaller “rooms” to the east feel more enclosed and separate. There are benches sympathetically placed so that a visitor can sit quietly within whichever atmosphere most suits them and the woodland will, when mature give yet another element to the character.
HGT Research: August 2015


O.S. 1st, 2nd and 3rd edition 25″ maps
Hampshire Record Office (HRO)
MF2 cemetery microfiche
51M76/A/2F/153 letters concerning the extension of Eling Cemetery 1939
Electronic sources
Google Earth

Our address

Eling Public Access Click for Disclaimer & copyright
50.90953357862439, -1.4815154671669006

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