Florence Place

At the end of Florence Place is the Freehold Burial Ground, given to the Brighton Synagogue congregation in 1826 by T.R.Kemp for use as a cemetery; it has an unusual octagonal, red-brick mortuary chapel with a turret roof.

Mortuary Chapel
Photo by Tony Mould

Comments about this page

  • Henry Solomon is buried in this cemetery, he was the Chief Constable of Brighton. He was murdered in his office in the then Brighton Police Station which is in Brighton Town Hall.

    By Georgina (06/04/2009)
  • What a serene yet strange place for a Jewish cemetery. It is a shame that it is in a neglected state.

    By Janet Austin (20/10/2009)
  • I believe my great grandfather Thomas Pearce was the resident gardener of this cemetery in the late 1800s, according to the census.

    By Vee Walton (22/08/2010)
  • Directly behind the chapel (looking at the picture) was a house occupied in the early 1940s by the manager of the Corporation yard. It fronted onto the road from Ditchling Road and went down past the abattoir to Hollingdean Road. Travelling down Florence Place from the Jolly Brewer pub on the right hand side was a flint wall and over the wall was a brick construction a bit like a square shed and in there we found the entrance to a smugglers’ tunnel. We used to go down with candles to light our way - it was quite a deep passage way and opened up into a large chalk cave with a passage way leading off which was blocked off after a distance but it was possible to get through to near the railway tunnel under Ditchling Road. A train went through once – frightened the life out of us. I wonder if it is in fact still there or has the area behind the pub been redeveloped? I believe there were a lot of smugglers’ tunnels once in the Brighton area. Perhaps someone could let me know.

    By Garry Lockwood (07/03/2011)
  • Garry – My father Arthur Scrace actually blocked the passage off whilst working for Pannetts which was located on Preston Road opposite the bottom of Springfield Road. He seemed to think it was linked to a convent. So he was the last person to see it prior to sealing it forever.

    By Martin Scrace (04/05/2012)
  • I worked as an apprentice for DP Toomeys in Florence Place in 1954.

    We would go down the caves. The largest was used as a drain and had several carvings (Graffiti) but nothing special.There were about 4 entrances and we went into all – some we had to lay a sheet of metal down and our mates would push us in. Didn’t see any sign of trains tho’.

    We looked through the blocked off wall and it went nowhere as far as we could see.

    By David Durant (30/01/2018)
  • Hello, do any of you know if this smugglers tunnel is still there?

    The mortuary, what was it last used as? 

    I’m a photographer and trying to find out some more history on this cemetery as it’s very unique.

    Many thanks.

    By Claire (20/06/2018)

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