A mid-C19 Burial Board cemetery laid out by the Bournemouth architect C C Creeke.
In December 1853 the Vestry of St James' church, Poole resolved to establish a Burial Board to provide a suitable cemetery for the parish. During the C18 the town and port of Poole had expanded with the development of the Newfoundland fishing trade; in the C19 new industries including pottery manufacture arose, and by the mid-C19 the churchyard attached to the medieval parish church had ceased to be sufficient for the number of interments taking place each year.
The newly constituted Board was instructed to enter into negotiations with the Trustees of John Bingley Garland of Stone Cottage, Wimborne (Post Office Directory of Dorsetshire 1859) to secure a site for the proposed cemetery (Minutes, 2 December 1853). In January 1854 it was reported that Mr Garland had offered to present a site comprising 14 acres (c 5.5ha) at Longfleet for use as a cemetery (Minutes, 9 January 1854). This site lay within the Borough boundary, but to the north-east of the old town, close to the newly fashionable residential areas which spread eastwards towards Bournemouth (Newman and Pevsner 1972). Following the completion of negotiations, in May 1854 the Board was authorised to expend up to £1500; in August this sum was increased to £2000 (Minutes, 23 May 1854, 7 August 1854).
In August 1854 (Minutes, 7 August 1854) the Board appointed as its Surveyor Christopher Crabbe Creeke (1820-86), an architect in practise at Bournemouth with Augustus Henry Parken (d 1898) (Felstead et al 1993). Creeke was responsible for the general laying out of the site, and for the design of the two chapels. The cemetery was opened in 1854 (Kelly 1935), and was subsequently expanded to the west in the early-1930s when an adjacent field enclosure was appropriated for burials; this extension is not included in the site here registered. Today (2001), the cemetery remains in municipal ownership.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Poole Cemetery is situated in the district of Longfleet, c 1km north of the centre of Poole. The c 5.5ha site is bounded by hedges and fences to the north, east, and south which separate it from mid and late-C20 domestic properties and gardens; to the west it adjoins the early-C20 cemetery extension. To the north there is an extensive belt of trees and evergreen shrubbery on a north-facing slope which drops down from the area used for interments towards the northern boundary of the site. The site slopes up towards the east and north-east corner, the north or Anglican chapel standing on the crest of a west-facing slope from which there are views to the west and south-west, including glimpses of Poole Harbour and the Purbeck Hills beyond. When the cemetery was established in the mid-C19 these views would have been more extensive, but have now (2001) been obscured by tree and scrub growth.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
Poole Cemetery is approached from the B3068, Ringwood Road to the south-south-east at a point c 25m north of its junction with Bond Road. An avenue of mature beech planted on a wide grass verge flanks a tarmac drive which leads c 100m north from Ringwood Road to cross Dorchester Road. This drive is now (2001) closed to vehicular traffic. To the north of Dorchester Road the drive continues for c 80m north-north-west to reach the entrance to the cemetery which comprises a pair of C19 wrought-iron carriage gates supported by a pair of gabled brick and stone piers which are ornamented with carved stone panels bearing the arms of the Borough of Poole. To east and west the carriage gates are flanked by a pair of wrought-iron pedestrian gates supported by a similar pair of lower brick and stone piers. The present entrance gates were restored in 1886 (inscription). To the north-west of the gates is an area of lawn surrounding geometric beds for seasonal planting, beyond which stands a late-C19 two-storey brick and tile-hung Arts and Crafts-style lodge. This lodge is shown on the OS map of 1890 and was probably constructed c 1886 when the entrance gates were restored. From the entrance the broad tarmac drive leads north-west, passing a marble panel bearing the arms of the Borough of Poole and an inscription recording the donation of the site for the cemetery by John Bingley Garland in 1854. Adjacent to this stone and opposite the lodge stands a war memorial in the form of a Cross of Sacrifice. The memorial is set on a grass bank which ascends from the drive and is surrounded by stone paving and low stone walls; a low laurel hedge separates the grass bank from an area of late-C20 graves enclosed within further hedges to the north of the drive.
The cemetery is provided with two separate chapels of similar design. The southern chapel, constructed for the use of Nonconformists, is situated c 100m north-north-west of the lodge. This chapel is of buttressed stone construction under a slate roof, with a bold gothic-arched entrance set beneath a rose window in the west facade. The door is flanked by a pair of lancet windows, while there is a further rose window in the east facade. The west facade is surmounted by an open bellcote. The northern or Anglican chapel stands on high ground c 100m north of the Nonconformist chapel. It is of similar buttressed stone construction and has the same arrangement of windows and entrances. The bellcote on the west gable of the Anglican chapel is surmounted by an elaborate carved stone cross.
The chapels were designed in 1854 by the Surveyor to the Poole Burial Board, Christopher Creeke (Minutes, 7 August 1854).
Poole Cemetery is laid out with a series of curvilinear walks which form two circular or elliptical patterns, one immediately west of the Nonconformist chapel, and one immediately south-east of the Anglican chapel. To the north of the Anglican chapel is an area of informal planting which adjoins a serpentine boundary walk. The principal walks are today (2001) surfaced in tarmac, while subsidiary walks either retain gravel surfaces or are laid to grass.
From the entrance the drive leads c 20m north-west to a junction from which walks lead west to form a boundary walk, north towards the Nonconformist chapel, and north-north-east towards the Anglican chapel. A group of significant monuments including a C19 stone obelisk commemorating members of the Kemp-Welch family stands on a triangular-shaped area of grass beneath mixed specimen trees including cedars, ilex oaks, and Irish yews. Similar planting adjoins the walks leading north towards the Nonconformist chapel, while the circular walk enclosing the burial area to the west of the chapel is planted with further specimen trees including mature sweet chestnuts, Irish yews, and cypresses. This circular burial area was formerly divided into quarters by further walks which converged on a central specimen tree; these walks are now (2001) partly appropriated for late-C20 burials. Between the outer circular walk and the perimeter walk are further burial areas planted with mature specimen trees and conifers. To the east of the Nonconformist chapel and the walk leading north towards the Anglican chapel is a further group of significant monuments, including c 20m east-north-east of the chapel a monumental stone obelisk commemorating John Morgan Salter BA, Surgeon to HMS Prince, which was wrecked in Balaklava Bay on 14 November 1854. Adjacent is a stone sarcophagus with a recessed arched opening at its west end containing a carved stone draped urn; this monument commemorates John Tench (d 1860).
From the east side of the Nonconformist chapel a curvilinear walk sweeps north-north-east through a mid-C20 avenue of flowering cherries and other specimen trees and conifers to reach the Anglican chapel which stands on the edge of a south-west-facing slope overlooking the lower area of the cemetery and the early-C20 cemetery extension. The Anglican chapel is surrounded by further specimen trees and shrubs including monkey puzzles, Irish yews, and cypresses. The slope below the chapel is similarly planted. To the south-east of the chapel is an elliptical-shaped burial area surrounded by walks and mature Liriodendrons. Around the perimeter of this ellipse is a group of significant monuments including a stone spire in memory of Lilian Braxton (d 1866), an obelisk commemorating George Ingram (d 1867), and a further obelisk in memory of Elizabeth Pierce (d 1868). To the east, this elliptical area abuts the eastern perimeter walk which extends north from the ellipse before following a serpentine course parallel to the northern boundary of the site. The ground to the north of the walk falls away and is thickly planted with pines and evergreen shrubbery. To the north-north-west of the Anglican chapel some of this planting has been cleared in the mid and late-C20 to provide additional burial space. Some 100m north-west of the Anglican chapel a walk leads south-south-west from the northern perimeter walk, ascending gently and sweeping south and south-east to return to the Anglican chapel. To the north of this walk, c 25m west of the chapel stands a large Gothic-style canopied tomb commemorating Robert Slade (d 1863), his father Thomas Slade JP (d 1887), and other members of his family. Nearby, and elsewhere throughout the cemetery, are C19 and early-C20 graves numbered and marked with glazed pottery markers of local production.
Poole Cemetery retains its C19 path pattern and much of the structural planting as recorded on the late-C19 OS map (1890); it also retains the mid-C19 chapels and a representative collection of mid and late-C19 funerary monuments.
Post Office Directory of Dorsetshire (1859)
Kelly's Directory of Dorset (1935)
Newman J and Pevsner N, The Buildings of England: Dorset (1972), 317-18
Felstead A et al, Directory of British Architects 1834-1900 (1993), 215-16
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1888
OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1888-90
2nd edition published 1902
3rd edition published 1912-13
Minutes of the Burial Board of the Vestry of St James' church, 1853-4 (PE/PL: VE1/1), (Dorset County Record Office)
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
Poole Cemetery is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Poole Cemetery is a High Victorian garden cemetery (1854) laid out by a Burial Board.
* The cemetery is a good example of the work of the Bournemouth architect Christopher Crabbe Creeke (1820-86), who was subsequently responsible for the design of Wimborne Road Cemetery, Bournemouth (qv).
* The layout of the cemetery, including its associated structures and planting survives intact.
* The design of the cemetery successfully exploits the undulating topography of the site for picturesque effect.
* The cemetery contains a good collection of C19 funerary monuments which reflect the social and economic development of Poole during the C19.
* Several monuments in the cemetery commemorate individuals associated with the expansion of Poole as a port, with their professions being reflected in the design of the monument.
Description written: October 2001
Amended: November 2001
Register Inspector: JML
Edited: December 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, 10 July 2017.