Manchester General Cemetery (also known as Queen’s Park or Harpurhey Cemetery) was originally privately owned. First proposed in 1833, the Manchester Guardian reported that shares in the project were being quickly taken up. The proposed capital of £20,000 was raised by the sale of 2,000 shares of £10 each.
The company was formed by a Deed of Trust dated 2nd May 1836 and names the following as the original Trustees of the Shareholders:-
In May 1836 an 11 acre plot of land was acquired by the Trustees on behalf of the company by William Christopher Chew for the sum of £4,293 which was held in trust for the purposes of a burial ground for all denominations.
An open design competition was won by Doncaster architect, William Lambie Moffatt, for the design of entrance buildings comprising: a large carriage entrance, pedestrian entrances, a non-conformist mortuary chapel, a registrar's house and administration offices all to be constructed in a neo-classical style.
The formal opening took place on 1st September 1837 by Mrs Walker of Whitehouses, Collyhurst and the first burials those of a stillborn infant 31st August 1837 and nine year old Marian Segate Watt took place on 1st September 1837.
Manchester General Cemetery operated as a private company until it was restructured in 1926 and Manchester General Cemetery Limited was formed. Manchester Corporation took over the running of the cemetery in 1937 and in 1958 Manchester City Council acquired the ownership of the cemetery from Manchester General Cemetery Limited. The cemetery is still under the control of Manchester City Council and remains in occasional use today however new burials are restricted to existing grave owners only.
William Gibbon NEWTON