A peek behind the scenes at Woodvale

A free open day on Saturday 13 July offers a rare chance to take a closer look around the beautiful chapels and gardens of Woodvale Crematorium.

Everyone is welcome to join the team between 11am and 3pm. Free parking is available in the grounds. Take your pick from a range of activities, including:

  • a behind the scenes tour of our crematorium
  • a visit to our north and south conjoined Gothic chapels 
  • a trip around our peaceful and tranquil atmosphere of landscaped lawns, waterfall stream, rockeries and flower beds.

A walk in the woods

Based within the larger area of the Victorian-era Lewes Road Cemetery, the crematorium's grounds have been developed in a wooded valley containing many fine specimens of trees and shrubs, which play host to singing birds, woodpeckers and even the occasional deer.

Spaces on tours are limited and operate on a first-come first-served basis. Please arrive early to ensure your place!

There will be demonstrations of genealogy in our Grade II listed extra-mural chapel in the Extra-Mural Cemetery, built in 1851.

You can also take a leisurely stroll around Woodvale’s Garden of Remembrance and the Victorian burial grounds at - one of the most beautiful areas in Brighton.

Visitors can follow a circular waymarked trail which highlights many of the notable monuments, while enjoying the spectacular changes throughout the four seasons.

Flint chapels

You can also look around our Grade II listed historic flint chapels. Built in 1856,the chapels were refurbished in 2013 and have just undergone additional conservation work to the roof and gable ends.

The original cemetery chapels, built in traditional Sussex flint, were adapted for cremation purposes in 1930 and Woodvale became the first crematorium to be established in Sussex. It continues to be proudly owned and managed by Brighton & Hove City Council and we look forward to seeing you there!

Events on the day

Spaces on tours are limited and are on a first-come first-served basis. Please arrive early to sign up for events at the information booth.

Everyone is welcome to attend the open day and enjoy the grounds - whether or not you plan to attend any of the specific events below.

  • Cemetery Grounds Tours
    11.30am and 1.30pm - Woodvale Grounds, meet at the Extra Mural Chapel
  • Crematorium Process Talk & Tour
    11.30am and 1.30pm - Woodvale North Chapel
  • Thomas Highflyer Talk & Tour 
    Takes place three times in the day - assemble at meeting point near the South Chapel (signage with directions and more information on specific timings will be available on the day)
  • Victorian Rituals of Death and Mourning 
    11.30am - Woodvale South Chapel
  • Dido's Lament: Victorian Rituals of Death and Mourning
    A short film featuring Woodvale, screened in the Waiting Room throughout the day
  • Genealogy demonstrations
    Ongoing throughout the day at the Extra Mural Chapel
  • Stonemason demonstration
    Ongoing throughout the day in front of the crematorium

Please note that we can’t allow dogs are into the cemeteries.

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Spring at Woodvale

Watch our short film to find out why the gardens at Woodvale Crematorium are a wonderful place to visit in the Spring. Bereavement Services officer Sandra Ventris tells us what makes the Victorian burial grounds so special.