In 1854, the burial grounds in Stroud had become insufficient in size and dangerous to health, and with the threat that they would be closed by the Government, a new cemetery had to be created.
A site of 6 acres was purchased from Joseph Watts for £756. A pair of chapels (one Anglican and the other non-conformist), with a single spire, and the entrance lodge were designed and built by Messrs. Baker & Son for £2,800. The paths were laid out and shrubs and flower beds planted to the design of William Foster.
The cemetery grounds were divided into three areas: one for Church of England burials (which was consecrated by the bishop of Gloucester in 1856), one for non-conformists, and the third for paupers. Many well-known Stroud citizens are buried here, and a study of the cemetery has been undertaken by Stroud Local History Society.