Heritage Category:
Park and Garden
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SZ 09021 92696


A cemetery, opened in 1878, laid out by the architect Christopher Crabbe Creeke.


Following a steep rise in the population of Bournemouth in the mid C19 a new burial ground became necessary. In 1872 a Burial Board was convened which purchased a plot of land called Rush Corner from William Clapcott Dean (OS 1871). Shortly after, an additional piece of land was added, bringing the total area for Bournemouth's first cemetery to 8ha. The Burial Board commissioned the architect to the Bournemouth Board of Commissioners, Christopher Crabbe Creeke (1820-86), to design the cemetery, which included a chapel, an entrance lodge, a mortuary chapel, and landscaping works. The chapel, which contains both the Church of England and Nonconformist chapels, was completed in 1877. The cemetery was consecrated in April 1878 and the first burials took place that same month. In September 1886, ground for Roman Catholic burials was consecrated by the Bishop of Portsmouth. Additional ground was consecrated in October 1908 and subsequently in July 1915.

Since the first burial in 1878, over 43,000 people have been buried in Wimborne Road Cemetery, and it remains (2000) in use.


LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Wimborne Road Cemetery, a level diamond-shaped site of 9.5ha, is located in the northern part of Bournemouth. Its setting is formed by a mixture of terraced and semi-detached housing, built mainly in the late C19 and early C20 (OS 1898, 1924). The cemetery is enclosed by a brick wall with stone copings, topped with chain-link fencing. Formerly the walls formed the base for late C19 decorative iron railings, removed during the Second World War. Along the south-west boundary runs Wimborne Road, while the south-east boundary is defined by Charminster Road. Both these roads were, during the early C20, used as tramways. The north-east boundary is marked by Iddesleigh Road, and along the north-west boundary are the private gardens to the rear of the houses along Stoke Wood Road.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The main entrance to the cemetery is situated at the southern tip of the site, at Rush Corner, the junction of Wimborne Road and Charminster Road. This gives access to the south avenue, which forms the main approach to the chapel. The entrance is marked by two large and two smaller square brick pillars, each topped with pyramidal-shaped stone copings. Formerly, decorative iron gates hung from the pillars, but only the two side gates now (2000) remain. The triangular plot south of the entrance pillars, now part of the road, was formerly fenced off from the road by bollards with chains. To the north-west of the entrance lies a lodge, introduced in the late 1960s and replacing the former late C19 lodge situated here. To its north-east stands a war memorial in the form of a carved stone cross set on an octagonal base.

There are three additional, smaller entrances: one c 260m to the north-west of the main entrance on Wimborne Road, one c 350m to the north-north-east of the main entrance on Iddesleigh Road, and one at the far eastern corner of the site, on Charminster Road. The latter is flanked by three square gate piers hung with decorative cast-iron gates.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING The chapel (listed grade II) stands in the centre of the cemetery. The western part of the building comprises the Nonconformist chapel, and the eastern part that of the Church of England. It is built of Purbeck stone with Bath stone bands and dressings, in a Deocrated style. In the angle of the south transept stands a buttressed tower supporting an octagonal spire.

OTHER LAND The cemetery is laid out with a simple design of formal avenues, each c 3m wide, which meet at the central chapel and divide the site into four burial sections. The sections are crossed by a network of smaller paths that radiates from the central chapel. The site is enclosed by a belt of mature trees, including pines and holly. The tree belt is lined by a walk along the south-west, south-east, and north-east boundaries. Some 5m to the west of the lodge in the south corner of the site stands a toilet block with attached shelter, which probably dates from the 1930s. The shelter is open to the north and contains seats from which there are views to the cemetery. Along the walk immediately north of the east entrance stand two square brick buildings with flat roofs, probably used for storage. These were introduced in the late C20.

From the main entrance, an avenue planted with monkey puzzles alternating with clipped golden hollies runs in northerly direction to the chapel. The use of these species was possibly suggested by Mr Joseph Cutler, a member of the Burial Board (see annotation on the reverse of a photograph showing the avenue, c 1900). Several of the monkey puzzle trees were replaced following a storm in 1990, which has been recorded on a plaque under the tower of the chapel. Some 10m to the west of the chapel stands Lady Annie and Sir Merton Russell-Cotes' mausoleum, designed by the architect John F Fogerty (1863-1938). The rectangular building of Portland stone has a pitched roof, with an arched doorway on its east front accessed through a small cast-iron gate. Above the doorway the Russell-Cotes' family arms is carved in stone. On the west front is a stained glass rose-window. Inside, both the domed ceiling and walls are covered in fine mosaics showing the famous pines of Bournemouth.

The straight avenue that links the east and west entrances is lined with mature cedars and a variety of gravestones and memorials. Parallel to the north-west boundary runs a third avenue with the mortuary situated halfway along its length. The latter is a small rectangular gothic building, built of brick with a pitched slate roof. The avenue is planted along its south side with mature pine trees, and to the north it is lined with a mixture of mature trees.

The cemetery contains a wide range of fine late C19 and early C20 memorials. It is the resting place of twenty-seven mayors of Bournemouth and contains the graves of many other local notables.


J Roy Instit Brit Architects, (8 May 1939), p 690 [Obituary of John F Fogerty] N Pevsner and J Newman, The Buildings of England: Dorset (1972), p 126 Brief outline of the history of Wimborne Road Cemetery, leaflet, (Bournemouth Borough Council 1999)

Maps Hankinson, New Plan of Bournemouth, 1890 (U769.018), (Bournemouth Reference Library) Bright, Map of Bournemouth, 8" to 1 mile, 1897 (U769.018), (Bournemouth Reference Library)

OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1870, published 1871 2nd edition revised 1896, published 1898 3rd edition revised 1923, published 1924 1933 edition

Archival items Invitation & programme, Wimborne Road Cemetery, Consecration of an additional portion of land by the Lord Bishop of Southampton, October 1908; July 1915 (U769.460 LPC), (Bournemouth Reference Library) Notes on local history: Wimborne Road Cemetery (typescript, nd), (Bournemouth Reference Library) Photographs showing various views of Wimborne Road Cemetery and its features, c 1900 (I.1001-1003), (Bournemouth Reference Library)

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION Wimborne Road Cemetery is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Wimborne Road Cemetery is a good example of a High Victorian cemetery (1878). * The cemetery was laid out by the locally notable architect Christopher Crabbe Creeke. * The cemetery has a good collection of funerary monuments which reflect Bournemouth's role as an emergent, leading, seaside resort in the late 19th and early 20th century. * The cemetery has distinctive structural planting.

Description written: June 2000 Amended: July 2000 Register Inspector: FDM Edited: January 2005 Downgraded: November 2009

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 11 July 2017.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:
Parks and Gardens


War Memorials Online, accessed 10 July 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/75888
War Memorials Register, accessed 10 July 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/49334


This garden or other land is registered under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953 within the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens by Historic England for its special historic interest.

End of official listing

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