- Heritage Category:
- Park and Garden
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Oldham (Metropolitan Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SD 90233 05805
A public cemetery opened in 1857 and extended in the late-C19. The site was designed by Manchester architect N G Pennington who also designed Greenacres Cemetery (qv), Oldham.
In 1854 Government Inspectors reported adversely on burial accommodation in Oldham and, following a town meeting, the mayor was petitioned to consider the provision of new cemeteries (Bateson 1985). The matter was referred to the Special Vestry who appointed a Burial Board. In 1855 the Board purchased land at Chadderton and Greenacres Hill to provide two cemeteries, to the west and east of the town respectively. The land at Chadderton cost £3150 and comprised 8.5ha, of which 1.2ha was subsequently sold (ibid). Both cemeteries were designed by N G Pennington. In July 1857 proposed charges for burial services and plots were considered at a Vestry meeting. It was reported that the cost of the two cemeteries, funded by a loan, was upwards of £20,000 and that, under the Burial Acts, it was required to be repaid within twenty years (Oldham Chronicle, 18 July 1857). It was also noted at the meeting that, as far as possible, the cemeteries would be open to the public as parks or walks (ibid).
At Chadderton a cemetery office and lodge were provided and the burial ground divided between the Anglicans and Dissenters, each with a mortuary chapel, with the division line marked by a line of posts (Oldham Chronicle, 25 July 1857). In July 1857 the Church of England burial ground at Chadderton was consecrated by the Bishop of Manchester (ibid). The two cemeteries at Chadderton and Greenacres were officially opened on 1 August 1857 (Oldham Chronicle, 1 August 1857) with the event commemorated by matching marble plaques in the two cemetery offices. On the same day, at Chadderton, the Roman Catholic burial ground was consecrated by the Rev J Conway and the opening of the Dissenters area signalled by an address by the Rev Hindson (Oldham Chronicle, 8 August 1857).
The 1893 OS map shows an irregular rectangular site, laid out with tree-lined paths to the south around two mortuary chapels and an area to the north, beyond a stream, largely without paths. The latter area appears to be an extension as the total area of the cemetery in 1893 was c 12.3ha. In the early-C20 the area of the cemetery was reduced by the expansion of the adjacent Springbrook Bleaching, Dying and Finishing Works to the north-west (OS 1922, 1932). In the mid-C20 the cemetery was slightly extended to the north (outside the area here registered).
The Nonconformist chapel was demolished in 1974 (Oldham Weekly Chronicle, 16 February 1974) and the cemetery office was last used in 1986. The Anglican chapel is now (2001) used for storage.
Chadderton Cemetery remains (2001) in use and in the ownership of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING The cemetery is situated c 2.4km west-north-west of Oldham town centre and is c 13ha in area. The southern boundary generally adjoins late-C20 housing and is marked by a 2m high stone wall. The cemetery adjoins Middleton Road at the west and east ends of the southern boundary. The boundary to Middleton Road at the western end is marked by a timber post and wire fence and a low hedge. To the east the cemetery is separated from Broadway by a school and church with the boundary marked by a 2m high stone wall. The northern boundary adjoins an area of informal public open space where it is marked by shrubbery, and a late-C20 extension to the cemetery (outside the area here registered). To the west and north-west the cemetery adjoins late-C20 housing on the former Springbrook Works site. The western boundary is marked by a 2m high stone wall with the northern sections broken by short piers. This wall extends north beyond the cemetery and may date from the expansion of the Springbrook Works in the 1920s-30s.
Ground in the south-east of the cemetery is generally undulating, falling steeply to the north-north-east of both mortuary chapel sites as well as to the west of the Nonconformist chapel site. In the northern area of the cemetery, c 270m from and parallel to the southern boundary, the site is crossed by a shallow valley. To north and south the valley sides rise gently, the ground becoming level adjacent to the northern boundary. The surrounding area is largely residential with a number of schools in the vicinity of the cemetery.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The principal entrance lies at the south-east corner of the cemetery. It is set back from Middleton Road between low curving stone walls, topped with C19 iron railings, which terminate adjacent to the road with stone piers, each with a decorative stone coping bearing the shield of the Oldham Burial Board. The walls flank a pedestrian entrance and a carriage entrance, both with C19 iron gates. The carriage entrance, to the east, is set between octagonal stone piers and the pedestrian entrance is marked by a low pointed-arched opening set in a short length of stone wall adjoining the western pier to the carriage entrance. Immediately north-north-west of the entrance stands a two-storey stone lodge in Gothic style with the steeply pitched roof now (2001) felted.
An informal path enters the cemetery at the north-east corner from the adjoining open space.
PRINCIPAL BUILDINGS The Anglican mortuary chapel is sited 130m north-west of the principal entrance and is a small stone building in Gothic style with a steeply pitched slate roof and a small entrance porch to the south. It is now (2001) disused except as a cemetery store. The site commands views northwards over the lower area of the cemetery.
Some 50m north of the principal entrance, and at the eastern end of the main drive within the cemetery, is sited the cemetery office built in similar style to the lodge and Anglican chapel.
OTHER LAND From the principal entrance the main drive leads 50m north to the cemetery office. It then turns to run west-north-west, parallel to the southern boundary, terminating 250m west-north-west from the office in a circular carriage turn. Much of the north side of the main drive is planted with trees and shrubs, while in contrast the south side has a dense array of memorials of a wide variety backed by the southern stone boundary wall and occasional tree planting. South-west of the office the turn in the main drive is marked by a First World War memorial in the form of a sandstone cross. A drive leads north-east 55m west of the office forming the approach, on a cross axis, to the Anglican chapel, set within a carriage turn. From the chapel two secondary paths lead south-east and south-west to join the main drive at the cemetery office and 170m to the west of the office respectively. These two paths are linked by a semicircular path which is centred on and encircles the chapel on falling ground to the north.
From the circular carriage turn at the western end of the main drive an approach drive leads 50m north to the site of the former Nonconformist chapel. The site is marked by two slightly raised grassed beds edged with memorial kerbstones, on either side of a central path. The former chapel site overlooks the lower northern boundary wall to the western area of the cemetery with views beyond towards Tandle Hill. From the former chapel site a path curves off to the lower, western area of the cemetery while another curves eastwards.
From the western carriage turn the line of the main drive continues westwards in the form of a path leading steeply down to the western area of the cemetery, to terminate at the western boundary. The bank down, to the west of the approach to the former Nonconformist chapel, has dense tree and shrub cover. The western area of the cemetery is laid out with straight paths, one running parallel to the western boundary with a line of mature trees adjacent to the boundary.
In the southern area of the cemetery the area between the two chapels is crossed by two serpentine walks which describe an approximate figure of eight; these intersect with the main drive c 180m west-north-west of the cemetery office. To the north they intersect with the grid layout in the northern area of the cemetery. In the north corner of the cemetery, extending 70m beyond the perimeter drive, lies a C20 rectangular extension forming a Roman Catholic burial area (outside the area here registered), commemorated by a cross mounted on a plinth, all in black marble, and dated 1946.
Within the perimeter drive the northern area of the cemetery is laid out with a grid pattern of paths parallel to and cross-axial with the main drive. Although the layout in the northern area is formal, reinforced with lines of mature trees to many paths, the undulating contours bestow a degree of informality. The 1932 OS map indicates that many of the rectangular burial areas were formerly lined with hedges. This northern area is shown on the 1893 OS map as within the cemetery boundary, but with only the eastern perimeter path laid out at that time.
The southern area of the cemetery is generally densely planted with trees and shrubs. The planting, together with a profusion of many fine monuments of the C19 and early-C20, closely grouped and in great variety, encloses the drives and paths adjoining and between the two chapel sites.
Chadderton Cemetery contains the graves of many notable local people including William Brierley, who for twelve years held the post of grand secretary to the United Order of Free Gardeners (Bates 1877). A monument of particular note is that of c 1872 to John Platt, MP; situated 50m west-south-west of the Anglican chapel, it is canopied in stone with carved pillars and enclosed with iron railings.
Oldham Chronicle, 18 July 1857, 4; 25 July 1857, 2; 1 August 1857, 1; 8 August 1857, 2 Bates P G W. The Handy Book of Oldham (1877), 27-8 Oldham Weekly Chronicle, 16 February 1974 Bateson H, A History of Oldham (1985), 139 Lawson M and Johnson M, Looking Back at Chadderton (1990), 48 Oldham Evening Chronicle, 20 August 1996
Maps OS 6" to 1 mile: 1923 edition OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1893 2nd edition published 1909 3rd edition published 1922 1932 edition
Archival items Early-C20 photographs (Oldham Local Studies and Archives Library)
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION Chadderton Cemetery is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Chadderton Cemetery is a High Victorian cemetery (1857) laid out for a Burial Board. * The cemetery was designed by the Manchester architect N G Pennington, who was also responsible for the design of Greenacres Cemetery (1857, qv). * The geometrical plan of the cemetery exploits the undulating topography of the site. * The layout of the cemetery survives substantially intact, with the Anglican chapel, lodge and cemetery office (Pennington, 1857) remaining. * The cemetery contains a good collection of C19 and C20 funerary monuments which reflect the development of Oldham.
Description written: September 2001 Amended: October 2001 Register Inspector: HMT Edited: December 2009
This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is 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 Register, accessed 11 July 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/55574
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