Welcome to Friends of old Folkestone cemetery pages

Cheriton Road, Folkestone

The ‘Friends’ is a volunteer group formed in January 2016 to protect, preserve, and promote interest in this Victorian cemetery. All of the burials for this cemetery are recorded in Burial Registers which date from the first burial in 1856 to interments of ashes which still occur today. 

There are around 15,000 graves in the cemetery (27,000 burials) with deaths recorded in 8 huge registers kept at the District Council office – but also now available online at Ancestry. This cemetery also contains 44 Commonwealth war graves, a Cross of Sacrifice, 3 Victoria Cross recipients, the Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) memorial and a memorial to the Grosser Kurfurst (Links to burial plots)

The White Garden: ‘Friends’ are raising funds for a ‘born sleeping’ babies memorial garden in the old Folkestone cemetery (more about this here) – if you could donate any amount to help us achieve this please go to;

Folkestone Timeline

  • c8,000 BC  Land bridge to Continent breached at end of last ice age
  • c800 BC  Quernstone production from local greensand sold over much of the known world for grinding corn by hand gets underway and continues for over 2,000 years
  • 630AD  St Eanswythe, daughter of King of Kent, builds the first nunnery in England in The Bayle overlooking the Continent, supplied by water running in a contour aqueduct from the hills behind the town.   Folkestone briefly the capital of Kent and England
  • 1339 French Fleet attack Folkestone and Dover
  • 1629 Folkestone obtained a license to build a port
  • 1790s-1815  Supply point for Napoleonic wars. Smuggling endemic.  Retiring officers make it an important residential area thereafter
  • 1794 Shorncliffe Camp established
  • 1820  Decimus Burton lays out The Leas for the Earl of Radnor
  • 1843  Railway from London opens
  • 1851 The population of Folkestone according to the census was 6,726
  • 1878 The sinking of the Grosser Kurfurst taking 284 of her crew with her
  • 1891 The full-rigged ship Benvenue sank off Sandgate
  • 1901-1910  King Edward VII and friends patronise the town
  • 1914 -18 WW1 the Great War
  • 1917 the great Folkestone air raid (Gotha bombing raid)
  • 1918-19 Influenza Pandemic – killed more people than the Great War.
  • 1939-45 WW2 Second World War
  • 1979  Motorway opens.
  • 1987 5,500-ton Sealink passenger ferry Hengist beached in the Great Storm
  • 1993  Channel Tunnel opens.
  • 2009  High-Speed Train service opens – London in 50 minutes