A public cemetery opened in 1857 and extended in 1887-8 by the Borough Engineer, Arthur Jacob, with planting by Henry Moore, head gardener at Peel Park. Weaste Cemetery was the first municipal public cemetery in Salford.
In August 1853 the Metropolitan Burial Act dealing with arrangements for London was extended to the rest of England and Wales (Brooks 1989). In December 1854 it was reported to Salford Town Council that their petition, presented to Her Majesty in Council, for powers to provide a cemetery had been approved and a Burial Board committee was formed (Salford Reporter, 19 May 1888). Five sites were considered and a report prepared by S C Trapp, the consulting engineer to the borough, considered the suitability of the soil, distance from the Town Hall and dwelling houses, together with present and future available access to each site (ibid).
Some 8.5ha of the New Barnes Estate at Mode Wheel was purchased by the Corporation from General Sir John Scoyell and James Collier Harter for the sum of £7928 18s (ibid). Contractors for forming the ground were Lowe and Brown, and for the buildings, Ellis and Hinchcliffe. The latter's tender for three chapels and a lodge, to designs by architects Pritchett and Sons, was £1904 (The Builder, 17 May 1856). Some 4.4ha were allocated to the Church of England, c 2.4ha to Dissenters, and c 1.6ha to Roman Catholics. The top stone of the spire of the Church of England chapel was set by architect J P Pritchett in November 1856 (The Builder, 15 November 1856). The cost of the cemetery, known as Salford Cemetery, was just over £17,960 and it was opened without any formal ceremony on 1 September 1857 (Salford Reporter, 19 May 1888). Slater's plan of 1863 indicates four buildings in formal arrangement to the north of the site, a perimeter path to the east and south boundaries, and the grounds laid out with informal winding paths and planting.
In August 1887 the foundation stone was laid for an extension of c 7.3ha to the north which necessitated taking down the north cemetery wall together with the Registrar's house, boardroom, and offices (ibid). Plans for the new area were prepared by Arthur Jacob, Borough Engineer (Salford Weekly News, 19 May 1888) and designs for two new buildings, a lodge and an office, were by Mr Collins under Jacob's supervision (Salford Reporter, 13 August 1887). The approach road, from Eccles New Road to the north, was lowered by c 2.1m at its summit to improve the gradient and two strips of land were purchased, one on each side of the approach, to be laid out in an artistic manner (ibid). The majority of the work was carried out by local builder John Stratham and Sons at a cost of £3725, and the lowering of Cemetery Road by Worthington and Pownall at a cost of £841 (ibid). Laying out of the grounds was carried out on the advice of Henry Moore, head gardener at Peel Park (Salford Reporter, 19 May 1888). Moore was also responsible for laying out Seedley Park in Salford, opened in 1876 and later incorporated into Buile Hill Park (qv). The consecration ceremony for the extension took place on 18 May 1888 and was followed by an evening dinner at the Town Hall.
The 1896 OS map shows the formal approach and regular layout of the 1888 extension and also, to the west, a further extension of the 1857 cemetery area. It is probable that the latter was carried out before 1887-8 as, in 1890 it was noted that it had been necessary to enlarge the cemetery from time to time prior to the c 7.3ha extension to the north (Wood 1890).
All buildings on the site have now (2001) been demolished except for the entrance lodge. Weaste Cemetery remains (2001) in use for burials in existing plots and in the ownership of Salford City Council.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
The c 16ha cemetery is situated in Weaste in the south of Salford, c 4km to the west of Manchester city centre. To the east, south, and west the roughly rectangular site is bounded by industrial properties. The south boundary is marked by c 3m high C20 metal fencing and the east boundary by a c 1.5m high stone wall with metal fencing beyond, both boundaries largely masked by a belt of trees within the cemetery. The west boundary is marked by a c 2m high stone wall with C20 metal fencing beyond. The north boundary is marked by a c 2m high wall with stone coping. The outer face of this wall is in stone and the inner face, to the cemetery, in red brick with blue brick band detail and shallow brick piers with decorative terracotta head detail. Both west and north boundaries are also marked by a line of line of trees within the cemetery.
The northern section of the cemetery, including the sites of the former chapels, lies on level ground, with the boundary wall standing on a low embankment in the north-west of the site. South and west of the chapel sites the ground falls to a lower level area adjoining the southern boundary. Before the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal, opened in 1894, the south-west corner of the 1857 cemetery area adjoined a bend in the River Irwell. The Irwell now (2001) flows into the Canal to the east and Mode Wheel Locks on the Ship Canal are situated c 200m to the south of the cemetery. The surrounding area is primarily industrial with late-C20 development to the east, south, and west of the cemetery. School grounds adjoin the north cemetery boundary, to the west of Cemetery Road, with a late-C20 commercial property on the same boundary to the east. The M602 motorway runs east/west c 300m to the north of the cemetery with small areas of late-C19 and C20 housing to the south on Cemetery Road and Eccles New Road.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The entrance (listed grade II) dates from the 1887 extension and lies on the north boundary at the southern end of Cemetery Road where it widens to form a 30m diameter circular turning area. The entrance is marked by a carriage entrance flanked by two pedestrian entrances set between stone piers. The pedestrian entrances have C19 cast-iron gates with a pair of late-C20 metal gates in similar style to the carriage entrance. The gates are flanked by low stone concave walls with railings between stone piers with a tall conifer hedge behind. Each concave wall terminates at a C20 gate opening serving adjacent properties, to east and west of the turning area. North of these openings, c 1.8m high stone walls, set c 9m back from the pavement line, extend north for c 90m on the west side and c 60m on the east side of Cemetery Road. The areas to the road side of these walls are grassed and planted with occasional trees and enclosed by low stone walls topped with c 1.8m high C19 cast-iron railings with spiked ball finials. Three panels of railings to the east side are now (2001) missing.
A single-storey stone lodge (listed grade II) of c 1866 is situated to the south-west of the cemetery entrance and is now (2001) in a derelict condition surrounded by security fencing. To the south-east of the entrance an embanked rectangular area marks the site of the 1887 cemetery office (now demolished) indicated on the 1896 OS map.
From the entrance a c 9m wide entrance road leads south for c 280m to terminate at the site of the former Anglican mortuary chapel, on an axis with the Cemetery Road approach. For 150m south of the lodge the road is generally tree-lined and was laid out as part of the 1887-8 extension works.
The north-west area of the cemetery is divided by into four quarters by straight paths laid parallel with, and at right angles to the entrance road. Perimeter paths to the west and north are set in c 16m from the boundary walls. Junctions at the centre of the south, west, and north perimeter paths of this area are marked by circular intersections with paths enclosing central planting beds. At the centre of this area path junctions are laid out on 45 degree splays enclosing a square planting bed. The central dividing paths are partly lined with trees. The smaller, north-east section of the cemetery is of similar layout, but with the eastern perimeter path laid close to the boundary and a single circular junction and planting bed at the centre. The eastern path is now (2001) mainly grassed over. The north-west and north-east sections were laid out as an extension to the cemetery in 1887-8 and the layout remains substantially as indicated on the 1896 OS map. Grave plots in these areas are laid out parallel with the main axis of the entrance road.
Some 230m south of the entrance two secondary roads lead off the entrance road, one to the east for c 50m to the site of the former Roman Catholic mortuary chapel and the other to the west for c 50m to the site of the former Nonconformist mortuary chapel. The chapel sites, together with that of the former Anglican mortuary chapel, are marked by grassed ovals planted with trees and shrubs.
From the Roman Catholic chapel site gently winding paths lead south, east-north-east, and north, the latter leading to the north-east section of the cemetery. The southern path curves to the south-west to follow a line roughly parallel to and inset c 80m from the irregular southern boundary, to a point c 220m south-west of the Roman Catholic chapel site. This path intersects with two paths leading south-east from the Anglican chapel site and, in the south-west of the cemetery, with two paths leading north to intersect with further winding paths leading north and north-east to the Anglican and Nonconformist chapel sites. In the south-east of the site the lines of paths, now grassed over, can be identified between areas of gravestones. In the south-west of the cemetery a path runs parallel to the west boundary and is linked to the chapel sites by a path leading east, 110m north of the south-west corner of the site. Some 85m north of this junction the boundary path turns north-north-east to a junction with the formal paths in the north-east section of the cemetery. The path layout in the south section of the cemetery remains largely as indicated on the 1896 OS map, with main paths as indicated on the 1863 Slater plan. Trees line short lengths of paths but are more generally in informal groups throughout the southern section. The orientation of grave plots in the southern section of the cemetery is generally on a north-north-west to south-south-east axis which adds to the informal character created by paths and trees.
Weaste Cemetery contains a number of monuments of historical and architectural interest, in particular adjacent to the chapel sites in the southern section. The most distinguished monument is situated c 25m south-west of the Nonconformist chapel site and is to Joseph Brotherton (1783-1857), Salford's first Member of Parliament and the first interment at the cemetery, on 7 January 1857 and prior to the official opening. The sandstone Brotherton Memorial (listed grade II) is in the Gothic Revival style with a square arcaded base below an open-arcaded gabled octagon surmounted by a tall gabled and crocketed spire. The memorial, erected by public subscription, was the subject of a design competition won by architects T Holmes and W Walker of Manchester. The carving and construction was carried out by Thomas Richard Williams of Manchester at a cost of 500 guineas and the memorial was described and illustrated in The Builder on 7 November 1857.
The Brotherton Memorial forms one of an important group of monuments which also includes the Ashworth Memorial of c 1869, the Rushden Memorial of c 1870, and the Burnett Memorial of c 1900-20 (all listed grade II).
Two further monuments of note lie c 10m north-east and c 30m south-east of the Anglican chapel site. The first is the Mark Addy Memorial (listed grade II) of c 1890 and comprises a polished granite obelisk on a stepped base. An inscription on the base records that Addy (1838-90) saved over fifty persons from drowning in the River Irwell. The second is the Charles Hallé Memorial (listed grade II) of c 1896; in ashlar stone, this takes the form of an elaborately carved pedestal memorial surmounted by a cross. A bronze plaque bears a relief profile portrait of the distinguished musician Sir Charles Hallé (1819-95) who founded the Hallé Orchestra in 1858 and was first Principal of the Royal Manchester College of Music in 1893.
The Builder, 14 (17 May 1856), 280; (15 November 1856), 629; 15 (7 November 1857), 642-5
Salford Weekly News, 13 August 1887, 6; 19 May 1888, 4
Salford Reporter, 13 August 1887, 8; 19 May 1888, 4
Wood WH, History of Manchester and Salford (1890), 25
Pevsner N, The Buildings of England: Lancashire South (1969), 396
Salford City Reporter, 23 February 1973
Brooks C, Mortal Remains (1989), 89, 1661-7
Roberts J, English Heritage Register Review: Greater Manchester (1994)
Slater I, A New Plan of the City of Manchester and Borough of Salford, 1/4 of a mile to 1", 1863 (Salford Local History Library)
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1848
OS 25" to 1 mile: 2nd edition published 1896
C19 photographs of chapels held at Salford Local History Library
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
Weaste Cemetery is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Weaste Cemetery is a High Victorian cemetery (1857) laid out for a Burial Board.
* The cemetery structures were designed by J P Pritchett (1789-86), who had previously designed chapels at York Cemetery (1837, qv) St Andrew's Cemetery, Newcastle (1857, qv) and subsequently West Cemetery, Darlington (1858, qv).
* The cemetery has a formal design which exploits the falling ground to the south.
* The layout of the cemetery survives substantially intact, but all associated structures apart from the lodge (Pritchett, 1856) have been lost.
* The cemetery contains a good collection of C19 and early C20 funerary monuments commemorating leading citizens of Salford.
* The cemetery was extended in 1887-8 to a plan by the Borough Engineer, Arthur Jacob, and with planting by Henry Moore, head gardener at Peel Park who was also responsible for planting at Lancaster Cemetery (1855, qv) and Seedley Park, Salford (now Buile Hill Park, qv).
Description written: September 2001
Amended: October 2001
Register Inspector: HMT
Edited: December 2009