Cemeteries and Burial Grounds


Notes on General Cemetery Notes on Church (Rock) Cemetery
Notes on other cemeteries and burial grounds Plan of Church (Rock) Cemetery
List of Cemeteries and who to contact if you wish to visit Introduction to St. Ann's Valley
Cemetery and Church Yard TRANSCRIPTIONS
Main St. Ann's Valley pages Index
Names of Purchasers of Burial Rights (Graves) in various cemeteries Burial Transcripts of other sections of Church Cemetery

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General Cemetery

The General Cemetery is situated at Canning Circus, which is on Derby Road at it's junction with Alfreton Road. It was first opened in 1837 at a cost of 6,000 (money raised by shareholders) and The Freemans Almshouses, on each side of the entrance, were built at the same time.

Abstracts from "Records of the Borough of Nottingham" Vol. 9 1836 - 1900
1836 September 15th
At the request of a deputation from the Nottingham General Cemetery Company, Council agree to accept 251:1s:4d for the extinguishment of common rights on three Lommas closes in the Sand fields, and to convey them to the Company

1840 August 6th
General Cemetery Company ask for rights of common over 3 additional acres which they have contracted to buy, in order to provide room for separate graves for poor families who desire them. They state : "The interest which the poorer Classes take in having separate Graves is proved by the way in which those in the Cemetery have been adorned with flowers, plants or other tokens of affection."

1897 January 21st
Park Committee report : "..... The General Cemetery, the Church Cemetery, and the Cemetery at Basford.... are rapidly filling....."

The Dissenters Chapel in the Cemetery was demolished in 1958
The Church of England Chapel in the cemetery was demolished May 1958

Church (Rock) Cemetery

The Church Cemetery was first opened in 1856 and is referred to as The Rock Cemetery by local people because of the sandstone rocks and caves on which it is built. It is considered to be by far the most attractive cemetery. Situated on the junction of Forest Road and Mansfield Road, the cemetery adjoins the Forest Recreation Ground which once formed the start of the great Sherwood Forest of the Robin Hood tales. The cemetery itself covers about 13 acres of land and the entrance is about a mile from the city centre, on the main Mansfield Road, just opposite St. Andrew's Church.

.There are no natural caves in Nottingham. All were dug out at some time or another for a purpose. Those in the vicinity of the Rock Cemetery were once part of a sand mine. People used sand in those days mainly for spreading on their floors, but it is understood that in this particular mine, they also excavated a very fine sand which was used as an abrasive cleaning agent. (A bit like modern Vim, perhaps?) The tunnels, caverns and natural sandstone rock formations give this cemetery it's unique layout and interest.

The public gallows were originally where St. Andrew's Church is now, but when the foundations were being dug for the church, they were moved across the road to near where the entrance to the cemetery is now. The last public execution took place there on 2nd April 1827 when 45 year old William Wells was hanged for robbery.

By the mid 1800s those church yards and burial grounds which still existed in Nottingham, were about full to capacity and the idea of the Church Cemetery was born. Four acres of 'town land' were allocated by the Enclosure Commissioners and a further nine acres of 'company land' was purchased by the Church Cemetery Company, which was registered in 1851.

The first interment in the Church Cemetery was on 20 June 1856 when a local school master, Samuel Taylor, had his 10 month old son buried in 'town land'. 1 shilling and 6 pence was paid to the vicar and 6 pence paid to the Clerk of the Cemetery. Three days later John Milnes, a 40 year old bleacher from Basford, was buried in a vault on 'company land' at a cost of 10 guineas. There are now over 43,000 souls buried in almost 14,000 graves.

A stroll around the Rock Cemetery will reveal all manner of expensive and elaborate monuments and headstones. Some of the most interesting being just inside the main entrance on the right hand side, but here and there can also be seen little plots, sometime fenced off, containing huge gothic style vaults inscribed to some of Nottingham's more notable ancestors.

In a Park Committee report of 21 January 1897 it was stated that "The General Cemetery, the Church Cemetery, and the Cemetery at Basford.... are rapidly filling....."

To see a plan of the layout of the Nottingham Church Cemetery click here

Section known as St. Ann's Valley
On the north side, of the Church Cemetery, accessed now by a steep descending pathway, is a large 'depression' or 'dip' known as St. Ann's Valley. Originally meant to be an exclusive and very impressive place of burial, great archways were built around the edges, giving it a strange air of grandeur. Unfortunately, the area proved unpopular for burials of the gentry and the authorities used a large part of it for the graves of the local paupers.

At the moment we are engaged in a project to find more about this section and to record the names of these poor people of Nottingham.

To learn more of St. Ann's Valley and to search through the names we have recorded so far, Click Here

History of Other Cemeteries
and Burial Grounds


Abstracts from "Records of the Borough of Nottingham" Vol. 9 1836 - 1900

1877 May 7th
Health Committee report that a burial took place on 17th January 1877, in the disused burial ground in Barker Gate, which was officially closed in 1856. Letter from the Burial Acts Department of the Home Office says: ".... if the coffin be embedded in charcoal and entombed, no danger need be feared," though, as pointed out, there was only one foot between coffin and gravestone. Resolved that a faculty for removing the coffin be applied for, and the Home Office be petitioned for an order to close disused burial grounds in Nottingham absolutely.

1886 July 1st
Annual report of Public Parks and Burial Grounds Committee records the acceptance of Walnut Tree Lane Burial Ground (disused) from the Society of Friends as a public recreation ground. It has been placed, with Mount Street Burial Ground, in the hands of the Kyrle Society.
[Founded 1877 by Octavia Hill, for conversion of waste land into gardens and similar objects; named after John Kyrle, 1637-1724, "the man of Ross", philanthropist, amateur landscape gardener, etc.]

1897 January 21st
Park Committee report : ..... The churchyards at Sneinton and Lenton are full, and Bulwell churchyard will shortly be in a similar condition. The General Cemetery, the Church Cemetery, and the Cemetery at Basford.... are rapidly filling, and the St. Catherine's Cemetery, on St. Ann's Well Road, is very much overcrowded and should no longer be used.... Your Committee..... favour the establishment of two large extra-mural cemeteries...... north and south, on Bulwell Forest and the south side of Sneinton Dale; one of them to have a crematorium. Agreed
[The south side of Sneinton Dale became Wilford Hill Cemetery & Crematorium]

1897 February 8th
Nottingham Society of Artists petition against the use of part of Bulwell Forest as a cemetery, "on account of its' natural beauty and wildness, which once interfered with can never be replaced." Referred to Public Parks Committee.

1897 April 5th
Public Parks Committee report on the opposition they have encounted on the proposed use of part of Bulwell Forest as a cemetery, and wish to substitute another site.
Resolved : "That this Council approves the appropriation of the piece of land forming part of the Basford Glebe..." between the Great Northern Railway and the Arnold Road.....

1900 October 1st
Public Parks and Burial Grounds Committee submit plans for the new Cemetery at Bulwell in Hempshill Lane. Cost of layout and buildings estimated at 12,000. Agreed

[The Cemetery on Hempshill Lane, Bulwell is known as the Northern Cemetery and was opened in 1903. The cemetery gates, offices and improvements to Hempshill Lane cost 10,130]

Baptist graveyard (between Mount Street and Park Row)
1724 First burial
1876 Last Burial
George Vazon, missionary in the Friendly Islands, later Keeper of Nottingham Workhouse and governor of the town gaol buried here.

The Jews Cemetery (Sherwood Street)
1824 Land set aside by the Corporation (Jews also had a separate gallows)


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