The original St Faith’s church was built about 1150 on what may be the site of an earlier Saxon church. The adjoining graveyard provided the parish of Havant with its only burial ground for those of any religious denomination. The parish records covering the period from 1653 to 1851 record some 6,000 burials there and from this figure it has been estimated that the graveyard could well contain the remains of over 20,000 people. By the 1850s it was decided that no more burials could be carried out there so a new site would have to be found.
Sir George Staunton generously gave a piece of his land in New Lane for this purpose. One acre was used to provide for those of the Church of England under the control of St Faith’s Church and one quarter of an acre for Dissenters under the control of the Dissenters’ Chapel which later became the Congregational Church and then the United Reformed Church.
Between 1700 and 1800 many Independent Chapels were built either with graveyards attached, or with separate ones adjoining public churchyards. When a Church of England burial ground becomes full it can be declared ‘closed’ and the responsibility for its maintenance, but not control, can be transferred to the local authority and this is what has happened with the St Faith’s section. However there is no such provision for burial grounds of other denominations and therefore the Dissenters’ section remains the responsibility of the United Reformed Church. However in 1929 the council agreed to maintain it for a fee of £5 per year. Although £3 was paid in 1930 there is no record of any money being paid since and when this was realised in 2007 the council ceased to maintain it.
Source: Havant Dissenters’ Cemetery New Lane – A Brief History and Record of Burials by Gillian M. Peskett Havant United Reformed Church May 2012
Additional information is available from a booklet compiled by Ralph Cousins