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Cemeteries

Ardwick Cemetery

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Ardwick Cemetery was situated on Ford Street, Gorton New Road, the first burial took place Tuesday 11th March 1838 for Johanna Naylor who was buried in a public grave, the cemetery was open to interments before it was officially opened.  It closed May 1950 after 252,769 recorded burials. 

The grounds were around 8 acres, beautifully planted and laid out, surrounded by a wall.  A Chapel at the entrance to which opposite was the Registrars house and office. (These similar in architectural design of the Chapel)

The official opening to the Public took place Good Friday 13th April 1838 at 3pm in the Cemetery Chapel. The Rev. James Bradley, registrar and resident minister, gave an address and spoke a dedicatory prayer to the small congregation that filled the Chapel.  Professional singers engaged for the occasion sang several anthems. After the service the Rev. James Bradley and the congregation took a walk around the grounds where he gave another address and prayer.
It was stated that as with other Public Cemeteries it was open to interments of persons without the distinction of sect, friends and family of the deceased may have a religious ceremony they see fit.

19th April 1923 at the House of Commons the Home Secretary was asked if permission was being sort to close the Cemetery.  Mr Chamberlain replied 'the Cemetery was closed by order of the Council in 1893 but permits "burials in existing graves under certain conditions" but that there was no view to close the entire Cemetery'
Many Notable people were buried here, John Dalton, Thomas Potter first lord mayor of Manchester, Ernest Jones - Chartist, Lieut Col. Hibbert C.B.,  Rev. Edward Mathews (much of his life given to the cause of temperance and emancipation of the negro), Sir John Potter - founder of the Manchester Free Library, Samuel Hibbert-Ware - Scientific and Literary contributions, Samuel William Butler - Actor, Robert Hawthorne - Bugler.
A plaque on the railings on Devonshire Street is all that remains to show that Ardwick Cemetery was once there.

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Rusholme Road Cemetery

Dissenters Cemetery / Rusholme Road Cemetery, Rusholme Road Chorlton Row, opened Wednesday 16th May 1821 and closed Feb 6th 1933.
It was described as "Easy and good access from all directions to the Cemetery. The land being red rock, gravel and sand, many yards deep, even after the heaviest rains the graves are perfectly dry making the Cemetery incomparably desirable."  To prevent any robbing from graves a watchman and a dog walk the grounds at night that has been in the employ of a Committee member for many years.
In June 1821 a contract was advertised for the erection of two buildings, a wall with palisades and gates, the Cemetery was interring before the grounds were completed.

The first burial took place 16th May 1821 of Martha Wood, Wife of James Wood of Plymouth Street, aged 31yrs.  The novelty of the scene drew a large amount of spectators, as the Cemetery committee preceded the body to the grave. The Revd. Samuel Bradley, the deceased’s own pastor gave an address and read the 23rd chapter of Genesis.

On the 23rd Dec, after a very short illness, the Rev. William Manning Walker, the respected registrar of the New Cemetery, Rusholme Road. After a short illness passed away. His funeral, which took place on 27th December, at the Cemetery, was attended by the committee and a considerable body of the proprietors, as well as by a number of clergymen and dissenting ministers of various denominations, and the committee and officers of the Manchester Temperance Society. 

Apr 1822 it was advertised that well built vaults and graves, and stones were available of very reasonable terms. Rev. W. M. Walker resident registrar was in constant attendance to perform funeral services when required.  Single interments were priced at 8 shillings, without any other expense.  Friends or family of deceased may choose any minister to officiate or they may inter without any funeral rites.

July 1891 it was reported that the Cemetery was to be turned into a playground but the chairman stated there was no thought of this, but was stated that if the Corporation were to take over the Cemetery that this could be possible as it has happened with other certain churchyards.

The Cemetery closed in May 1933 after over 68,000 interments. Manchester City Council acquired the Cemetery in 1954 and within a few years the gravestones and buildings removed. The land was turned into a park named "Gartside Gardens” landscaped and a children’s playground installed.  There is to date no memorial notice or plaque informing it was once a Cemetery.

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There are available burial registers and recorded gravestone inscriptions (sadly only basic information of inscriptions)  To date remains are still being removed as building works are taking place and the park has been reduced in size.  Remains have been re-interred in Southern Cemetery.

Walkers Croft

Walkers Croft Cemetery was the addition to the now full Collegiate Church burial ground around the Church, it was consecrated 1st January 1815 by the Bishop of Chester. Burials took place from 16th January 1815 and up until 3 May 1839 a total of above 33,246 burials had been recorded.
1844 the land was sold to the Leeds and Manchester Railway, it was first stated that no burials would be disturbed as the tracks would only go over the surface of the ground.  This quickly proof false. Thousands had to be removed as work started to progress.
1847 it was reported about the disgraceful and bad condition of burials and grounds in the Cemetery which were clearly witnessed.
As the Railway expanded more and more bodies were removed. 
A plaque placed at Platform 1 at Victoria Station to mark the location of the Cemetery, though the date of closure states 1832 it was 1848.
A memorial stone in Southern Cemetery marks the re-interments of Walkers Croft, though further dates have not been added as more remains have been interred as works progress at the Station.

 

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Wesleyan Cemetery

Wesleyan Cemetery, Thomas Street, Cheetham Hill,  was described “roughly 4 acres and adjoining the Methodist Chapel, as rural, simplicity and quiet, being of elevated dry and sandy ground.  Endearing to mind for those departed friends.”   A wall surrounding the grounds was sunk eleven feet deep.  It was also known as Cheetham Hill Cemetery. 

It opened January or February 1815.
1821 Families interring in the Cemetery were free to use their own form of service and bring any minister. 
The costs of a new Grave - one guinea, seven shillings for sexton and minister dues, half a guinea for reopening and dues.

A map from 1850 shows the Cemetery with an Old Wesleyan Chapel and Cemetery grounds and a New Wesleyan Chapel and New Cemetery grounds. Prices for burials and graves in the local newspaper provide prices for the Old and New Cemetery grounds.

1st May 1857 burials were to discontinue in the Wesleyan Chapel General Cemetery. (Except to existing private vaults and graves)  May 1857 the trustees of the Cemetery sent an application to the Home Office - Inspector of burials to examine the site, the soil of the cemetery and situation. Upon his report the Queen modified the order under certain conditions.  None objectionable by the trustees, they continued to sell Vaults and Family graves in the appropriated large plot of land and urged to secure said plots.  Cost for a family vault £12, family grave new ground  £1. 15s. family grave in old ground £1. 1s.

22 Oct 1867 Dr Holland, Government Inspector opening an inquiry visited the Cemetery due to a complaint of interments to public health.  As the Cemetery was under Council order from the burials act "interment should be discontinued, except in family graves and vaults.  That no grave should be less than 5ft deep and no coffin should be placed with 1ft of another coffin unless a brick grave or vault, in which each coffin should be embedded in charcoal and separately entombed in an air-tight manner." The grounds of complaint were found to be unfounded as it was said funerals were taking place 3-4 per day abt 1277 per annum when in fact only 403 took place in the last year.

Above:

Memorial Garden on site of the Cemetery

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Left:

Memorial stone at Southern Cemetery

Right:

Repalcement stone at Southern Cemetery

8th October 1881 Jane Pinkerton died being known as the “Crumpsall Centenarian” reported to be 108 years of age. Born near Paisley Scotland 16th June 1774, she was buried in the Cemetery. The burial register shows Jane’s age as 107 years dying of ‘old age’

Above Left:

 Memorial Plaque in

Memorial Garden

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The Cemetery closed in 1968 having been neglected for many years.
Manchester City council sold the land to developers who sadly decided a major food retailer and car park would be placed there.  In 2003 the remains were removed, some to Southern Cemetery, Blackley Cemetery and mostly to St Peter's Cemetery, Bury.
A memorial garden in the corner of the Car Park with a few gravestones and plaque is all that remains.            
(Many times in need of attention)

Below on the slide are some of the remaining gravestones found in the Memorial Garden

John Steele HIGGINS

John Steele HIGGINS

John Steele Higgins

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

Elizabeth R Marsden

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

Emma A Bradley

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

Fred Hayes

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

Herbert Townley

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

James Ryall Webb

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

James Sherwin

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

Jane Harrison

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

Jennie Oldham

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

John Helm Smith

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

John Steele Higgins

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

Joseph Porter

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

Mary Ann Greenwood

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

Sarah Ann Marsden

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

Sarah Rossiter

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

Sydney Jones

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

Thomas Richards

William Berry

William Berry

William Berry

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

Caleb Lewis

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

Elizabeth Elstub

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

Herbert Lomas

Cheetham Hill

Cheetham Hill

William Bradley

Burial Records and basic gravestone inscriptions are available via online family history sites. 

Burial records start at 16th April 1815 running number 31.  Running numbers 1-30 seem to be missing. 

It is estimated that the grounds opened about January or February 1815.

Gravestone inscriptions are basic information - surname, forename, death date, age. (odd relationship - wife, son etc., )

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