Historic burial grounds
As well as our cemeteries and the crematorium, Nottingham City Council also maintains historical burial grounds and fourteen closed churchyards.
A Closed Churchyard is one that is no longer available for burials except to persons who have purchased a current right of burial. Many of the cemeteries have historical importance in Nottingham's development and heritage. For enquiries please contact the Southern Cemetery and Crematorium (Wilford Hill) office on 0115 915 2340.
To compensate for the loss of open space used for recreation resulting from The Nottingham Enclosure Act 1845 a series of places of public recreation and public walks were created. One hundred and thirty acres including four acres for Church Cemetery (an additional nine acres were added in 1851). The Cemetery designed by Edwin Patchitt, a local solicitor and Clerk to the Cemetery Company, took several years to build and was not yet finished when it opened in 1856. The City Council took over responsibility for the Cemetery in 1965 and it remains in their ownership.
The layout of the Cemetery is determined by the sandstone rocks and old sandpits on which the Cemetery was created. The Cemetery has four main areas: the terrace to the south with a straight promenade to the site of the Chapel; the section in the centre and north-west which is terraced and has ashlar retaining walls; the catacomb range in St Ann's Valley in the east and the north-west corner which uses natural caves, cliffs and outcrops.
The Nottingham Enclosure Map of January 1848 shows the area North of General Cemetery marked as 'Proposed Dissenters Cemetery'. The map states that 'A Dissenters and a Church Cemetery (the situation not yet fully decided upon) will relieve the overcrowding burial places in the Town'. The division between the two parts of the Cemetery is shown clearly on the 1865 Award Map.
The Cemetery was set up by the Nottingham General Cemetery Company established by a special Act of Parliament for which Royal Assent was given on 9th May 1936 and covered fourteen acres. A further four acres was added under the 1845 Enclosure Act the Nottingham Enclosure Act.
By 1923 150,000 bodies had been buried and the then Medical Officer of Health expressed concern about the future of the Cemetery if interments continued. A Bill was brought before Parliament by Nottingham Corporation to close the Cemetery if further interments took place except into existing family graves. Due to the escalating operating costs after the Second World War the Company made representations to the Corporation to take over the Cemetery. The Corporation declined, the Company went into voluntary liquidation and the Cemetery became vested in the Crown. The Crown conveyed the Freehold of the Cemetery and all its responsibilities to the City Council in 1956 and it remains in their ownership.
The Main Entrance is from Canning Terrace on the South-West boundary of the Cemetery. The Cemetery gatehouse flanked Almshouses (listed Grade II) was designed by S S Rawlinson for the General Cemetery Company. Another entrance off Talbot Street leads Northwards also to the site of the Anglican Chapel. In the North-East corner of the Cemetery, off Waverly Street, a further entrance was formerly marked by a Lodge (demolished late 1950's).
This historic cemetery was opened in 1875. There is a chapel in the cemetery grounds but unfortunately in
January 1995 it suffered an arson attack and one of the outside walls was completely burnt down.
Other churchyards maintained by the service are:
- St Mary's, Lace Market
- St Stephen's, Sneinton
- St Nicholas, Castle Gate
- St Peter's, St Peter's Gate
- St Leodagarius, Basford (Church)
- St Leodagarius, Basford (Graveyard)
- St Mary's, Bulwell
- St Martin's, Bilborough
- Priory Church of St Anthony, Lenton
- Lenton Parish Church (Holy Trinity)
- St Mary's, Clifton
- St Wilfred's, Wilford
- Bramcote Lane Churchyard
- St Leonard's, Wollaton