Coordinates: 53°22′9″N 1°29′14″W / 53.36917°N 1.48722°W / 53.36917; -1.48722

Sandford's Walk at Sheffield General Cemetery
Sandford's Walk at Sheffield General Cemetery

The General Cemetery in the City of Sheffield, England opened in 1836 and closed for burial in 1978.[1] It was the principal cemetery in Victorian Sheffield with over 87,000 burials. Today it is a listed Landscape (Grade II*) on the English Heritage National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.[1] It is also a Local Nature Reserve.[2][3] It is owned by the City of Sheffield and managed on behalf the city by a local community group, the Sheffield General Cemetery Trust.

Location

The General Cemetery (grid reference SK342859) is located just over a mile to the south-west of Sheffield city centre, in the district of Sharrow. It occupies a north-facing hillside site between Sharrow Vale and Sharrow Head. The Porter Brook runs along its north-west edge, and Cemetery Road forms the boundary to the south-east. The Gatehouse entrance is accessed from Cemetery Avenue off Ecclesall Road.

History

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Sheffield General Cemetery - key.png
The Cemetery in the 1830s, seen from Ecclesall Road.
The Cemetery in the 1830s, seen from Ecclesall Road.

The General Cemetery was one of the first commercial landscape cemeteries in Britain. Its opening in 1836 as a Nonconformist cemetery was a response to the rapid growth of Sheffield and the relatively poor state of the town's churchyards. The cemetery, with its Greek Doric and Egyptian style buildings, was designed by Sheffield architect Samuel Worth (1779–1870) on the site of a former quarry.[4] Robert Marnock who also designed Sheffield Botanical Gardens (1836) and Weston Park (1873) acted as a landscape consultant for this initial phase.[5] The first burial was of Mary Ann Fish, a victim of tuberculosis.[1] An Anglican cemetery with a chapel designed by William Flockton and a landscape laid out by Robert Marnock[6] was consecrated alongside the Nonconformist cemetery in 1846—the wall that divided the unconsecrated and consecrated ground can still be seen today. By 1916 the cemetery was rapidly filling up and running out of space, burials in family plots continued through the 1950s and 1960s, but by 1978 ownership of the cemetery had passed to Sheffield City Council and it was closed to all new burials. In 1980 the council got permission by Act of Parliament to clear 800 gravestones to make a recreation area. Through the 1980s and 1990s most of the rest of the cemetery was left untouched, becoming overgrown and an important sanctuary for local wildlife. Unfortunately, many of the buildings also fell into disrepair. In early 2003 work began to restore the gatehouse and catacombs funded by a £500,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.[7] The restored gatehouse now houses the offices of the Sheffield General Cemetery Trust. In October 2021 the Trust opened an Airbnb in part of the Gatehouse to raise money for its ongoing conservation aims.[8]

Notable buildings and structures

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New Chapel at Sheffield General Cemetery.jpg

Notable burials

References

  1. ^ a b c "The Sheffield General Cemetery". Friends of the General Cemetery. Retrieved 2 April 2005.
  2. ^ "Sheffield General Cemetery". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Map of Sheffield General Cemetery". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  4. ^ Harman, R. & Minnis, J. (2004) Pevsner City Guides: Sheffield, pp.225–228. New Haven & London: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-10585-1
  5. ^ J Horton et al (2001) Remote and Undisturbed, p8. Unicorn Press. ISBN 0-9539994-0-8
  6. ^ J Horton et al (2001) Remote and Undisturbed, p23. Unicorn Press. ISBN 0-9539994-0-8
  7. ^ "Work starts on cemetery restoration". BBC News. 8 February 2003. Retrieved 2 April 2005.
  8. ^ "New Airbnb opens in Sheffield cemetery - take a sneak peek inside". Sheffield Star. Johnston Press. 9 October 2021. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  9. ^ Historic England. "Main Gateway and lodges to General Cemetery (1247071)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 February 2006.
  10. ^ Historic England. "Gateway to General Cemetery with screen and flanking walls (1247054)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 February 2006.
  11. ^ Historic England. "Old Chapel at General Cemetery (1247073)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 February 2006.
  12. ^ Historic England. "New Chapel at General Cemetery (1247055)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 February 2006.
  13. ^ Historic England. "Montague house (1247051)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 February 2006.
  14. ^ Historic England. "George Bennet memorial in General Cemetery (1376266)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 February 2006.
  15. ^ Historic England. "Monument to Mark Firth 60m east of New Chapel at General Cemetery (1247072)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 February 2006.
  16. ^ Historic England. "Statue of James Montgomery 12m east of Cathedral (1247230)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 February 2006.
  17. ^ Historic England. "James Nicholson Memorial in General Cemetery (1376265)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 February 2006.
  18. ^ Historic England. "William Parker Memorial in General Cemetery (1271053)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  19. ^ a b c "INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN". Sheffield General Cemetery Trust. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  20. ^ "INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN". Sheffield General Cemetery Trust. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  21. ^ "Leopold Lichtenthal (Unknown-1849) – Find A Grave..." www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  22. ^ "MINI HISTORIES". Sheffield General Cemetery Trust. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  23. ^ "Robert Fossett (1826–1875) – Find A Grave..." www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  24. ^ "Harvey Teasdale (1818–1904) – Find A Grave..." www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  25. ^ "Picture sheffield". www.picturesheffield.com. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  26. ^ "Sources for the Study of Sheffield and the Crimean War" (PDF). Sheffield City Council. p. 9. Retrieved 23 March 2021.