Deans Grange Cemetery (Irish: Reilig Ghráinseach an Déin; also spelled Deansgrange) is situated in the suburban area of Deansgrange in the Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown part of the former County Dublin, Ireland. Since it first opened in 1865, over 150,000 people have been buried there. It is, together with Glasnevin and Mount Jerome, one of the largest cemeteries in the Dublin area, occupying 70 acres (28 ha).
The Burial Act of 1855 resulted in the closure of many of the older churchyards in Dublin and surrounds due to overcrowding. This drove the need to find new lands for cemeteries.
The initial cemetery consisted of just 8 acres (3.2 ha) bought by the Rathdown Union from Rev. John Beatty. The price agreed was £200 which Rev. Beaty set as being equivalent to twenty years rent. A committee was formed to run the new cemetery and on 20 November 1861 Sir George Hobson, chairman of the Guardians of the Rural Districts of the Union, signed the deeds establishing the new cemetery. The new committee set about appointing Matthew Betham as the chairman and Joseph Cope as the office clerk of admin duties and building the new cemetery.
The cemetery was laid out with just two sections, North for Catholic and South for Protestant religions as well as separate chapels for both. It also consisted of a Gate Lodge (Registrar's house) and yew trees lining the main walkways. The buildings were constructed by Matthew Gahan, whose name can be seen on the metal doors to the vaults under each chapel.
It was 1865 when the cemetery took its first burial on 28 January 1865 of Anastasia Carey, buried near the Catholic chapel. There were four grave types to be chosen by the families.
1st Class located adjacent to the main pathways and considered the most prominent and most expensive.
2nd Class located adjacent to the smaller pathways and expensive.
3rd Class surrounded by other plots where payment was required within five years. Failure to pay resulted in the grave reverting to the Burial Board for reuse.
4th Class on loan and reverted to the Burial board for reuse after a number of years.
Since the opening of the cemetery two sections were added, South West and West, and the North section was extended. From the 1930s more land was bought and new sections were created and named after different saints bringing the total number of sections to 16.
In 1984 a sister cemetery was opened south of Shankill village called Shanganagh Cemetery and occupying 50 acres (200,000 m2). By the late 1980s the cemetery was running out of space and it was decided to stop selling new grave spaces. However, recent proposals around 2008 will see a small number of improvements and spaces made available.
The gate lodge was lived in by the registrar until the late 1990s when it was vacated.
Today Dean's Grange Cemetery is administered by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
The Angels plot used from 1905 to 1989 to bury children. It is reckoned that 750 children are buried here. Cemetery staff renovated the plot around 2008.
During the 1916 rising, the cemetery saw the burial of about 50 people connected to the rising. They were either innocent victims, Irish republican volunteers or United Kingdom soldiers. There is a plot with 6 people buried and the rest are buried by their respective families.
RMS Leinster was torpedoed by a German submarine 12 miles (19 km) from Dún Laoghaire in 1918. Eleven known victims are buried in the cemetery.