A public cemetery opened in 1881 by the Sheffield Township Burial Board, designed by the Sheffield architectural practice of Messrs M E Hadfield and Son.
As early as 1873 Sheffield Township Burial Board began planning a burial ground on 49 acres (19.8ha) of agricultural land in the Sheffield Park district of the town. In 1877, visits to Birmingham Cemetery, Whitton (qv) and Anfield Cemetery, Liverpool (qv) may have informed decisions made regarding the laying out and running of the cemetery. In 1878 the land was purchased from the fifteenth Duke of Norfolk for £13,625 and plans for the extensive range of buildings, including Church of England and Nonconformist chapels, gateway, offices, boardroom, and lodges were prepared by the Board's appointed architects and surveyors, the local firm of Messrs M E Hadfield (1812-85) and Son. A requirement of the purchase was that a proportion of the ground would also be allocated for Roman Catholic burial, with the erection of a requisite chapel. A plan of 1878 of the cemetery, known then as Sheffield Township Burial Ground or Intake Cemetery, shows 20 acres (8.1ha) allocated for Church of England use and 13 acres (5.3ha) for Nonconformist use, with access to these portions from Intake Road, later to become City Road. The 7 acres (2.8ha) of land allocated for Roman Catholic burial were located in the north-west corner and in 1880 tenders were invited for the formation of roads and footways, the erection of an entrance lodge off what was then Manor Road, a waiting room and closets, and to provide a direct entrance to the Roman Catholic section. Some 9 acres (3.6ha) of land in the north-east corner was shown as 'unappropriated', to be used for future extension (Sheffield Burial Board Minute Book 1877-80). On 28 March 1881, the Archbishop of York consecrated the Church of England portion, and, following the opening of the cemetery on 25 May, the first burial took place on 27 May (Welsh 1975). On 9 June 1881 the portion allocated for Catholic use was consecrated by Bishop Cornthwaite and on 18 May 1899, the Board gave approval to plans for a proposed Catholic chapel, commissioned from Charles Hadfield, son of M E Hadfield, by the Duke of Norfolk (Evinson 1995). St Michael's Chapel was consecrated on 11 October 1900. In the same year the cemetery was taken over by Sheffield City Council, and following this became known as City Road Cemetery. In 1903 C and C M Hadfield were engaged by the council to prepare designs for a crematorium, as an annexe to the existing Nonconformist chapel. On 5 April 1905, the crematorium was officially opened by the Lord Mayor, with the first cremation on 24 April 1905 (150 years of Architectural Drawings, 1984). The cemetery was extended into the area originally marked 'unappropriated', to the south-east, by 1935 (OS). An additional chapel and extensions were built (mid-C20) at the north side of the crematorium and in 1982 the original Church of England chapel was demolished. The cemetery is currently (2002) managed by Sheffield City Council.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
City Road Cemetery is situated c 2km south-east of Sheffield city centre in the largely residential area of Sheffield Park. The section of the cemetery here registered occupies an L-shaped area of c 19.8ha, and is defined to the south-west by City Road (formerly Intake Road), which rises steeply to the south-east. A substantial stone wall with broad sections of cast-iron railings alternating with sections of full-height wall forms the south-west boundary, opposite which are short terraces of housing (late-C19). The south-east boundary is defined by a high stone wall beyond which lie allotments. The irregular north-east boundary (of the site as here registered) commences at a point along the south-east boundary wall, 200m from the junction with the City Road boundary, and continues north-west along an access route to meet a broad central route which runs from south-west to north-east through the centre of the cemetery. The boundary continues to the north-east following the axial route to reach the last parallel route giving access to the north-east section of the cemetery, and then continues north to connect to the north-west boundary wall. The north-west side of the cemetery is defined by a stone wall with double chamfered coping (M E Hadfield and Son 1878-81, listed grade II), to the back gardens of housing (late-C19) along Harwich Road and Dovercourt Road.
From the south-west boundary on City Road, the land rises steeply to the north-east towards a ridge or crest running from north-west to south-east, on which the main promenade and the chapel and crematorium buildings are located. The promenade provides fine panoramic views across the city, now (2002) in parts obscured by mature tree growth. Beyond the ridge the ground slopes down to the north-east; this area also provides fine views to the north, north-east, east, and south-east, but these are also obscured in parts by mature tree growth.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The main entrance stands close to the centre of the south-west boundary on City Road. From a wide recessed forecourt, with visitor parking on either side, a central cobbled carriage drive leads through a large arch and a pair of large wrought-iron gates, located at the centre of an extensive range of entrance buildings (M E Hadfield and Son 1879, listed grade II). To either side of the buildings and entrance forecourt, high screen walls, each c 50m in length, with gabled stone coping, link to octagonal stone piers (walls and piers M E Hadfield and Son 1879, listed grade II), topped with ribbed ogee capitals and finials. The piers in turn link to the boundary walls and railings on City Road. The north-west screen wall has an elliptical arched doorway. A pedestrian entrance (mid-C20) is located 120m south-east of the main entrance arch, off City Road. A further entrance, created in the early-1880s as access to the Catholic section of the cemetery, is reached from Harwich Road. Originally created as the approach road to the entrance (OS 1890), Harwich Road is now lined by housing (late-C19). The entrance lodge (M E Hadfield and Son 1878-81, listed grade II), situated inside the cemetery immediately south-west of the Harwich Road entrance, and the gateway (M E Hadfield and Son 1878-81, listed grade II) are in Tudor Revival style. The lodge is built in local coursed sandstone, with blue slate roofs. The adjoining carriage gateway has two octagonal gate piers topped with ribbed ogee domes and finials, now (2002) missing, and a pair of wrought-iron gates. To the west is a pedestrian entrance, a Tudor-arched doorway with label mould over. Immediately north-east of the entrance, waiting rooms, contemporary with the entrance lodge, have been extensively modified (late-C20) to create a store and garage.
The gatehouse, offices, superintendent's and sexton's houses (M E Hadfield and Son 1879, listed grade II), in Tudor Revival style, form an extensive and fine group of buildings at the entrance to the cemetery. Central to the group is a four-stage tower, incorporating the main arched entrance gateway, the former under-sexton's house, currently (2002) unoccupied, and a clock at the top stage. To the south of the tower, a higher octagonal stair turret is topped with a crenellated lantern. The top of the tower provides a panoramic view across the city and beyond. On either side of the tower are single-storey corridors, now (2002) used as columbaria. Beyond to the north-west are the former superintendent¿s house, boardroom, and offices, now (2002) the offices for Bereavement Services, Sheffield City Council and to the south-east the former sexton's house, presently (2002) occupied, with a maintenance yard to the rear.
The former Nonconformist chapel (M E Hadfield and Son 1881, listed grade II) and adjoining crematorium (C and C M Hadfield 1904-5, listed grade II) stand in a prominent position, 120m south-east of the main entrance. The chapel, in Perpendicular style, has a gabled double bell turret with octagonal finial on the west gable, and a porch on the north-west side. The design of the crematorium, situated immediately to the south-east, is thought to have been influenced by the Abbot's Kitchen at Glastonbury (150 years of Architectural Drawings, 1984). Octagonal in plan, the crematorium has diagonal buttresses at the angles, topped with gargoyles. The additional chapel and extensions (mid-C20, listed grade II) are in coursed sandstone with roofs of stone and blue slate.
The Roman Catholic mortuary chapel of St Michael (C Hadfield 1898-1900, listed grade II), in Gothic Revival style, stands 365m north-east of the main entrance. Originally financed by the Duke of Norfolk, the chapel is currently (2002) vacant and in poor condition.
The section of the cemetery here registered is formal and roughly symmetrical in layout, the spine of the designed landscape formed by an axis which commences immediately north-east of the cemetery entrance buildings and proceeds as a wide flight of stone steps to a rondpoint, located 80m north-east of the main entrance. The axis continues as a broad central drive leading downhill to the north-east, serving a rectilinear grid of drives and paths giving access to the various sections of the cemetery.
Some 20m north-east of and opposite the main entrance, four substantial flights of stone steps, framed on either side by a short avenue of ornamental hawthorn and cherry trees and retained within low stone walls, lead up to the main promenade and carriage route which is situated on the crest of the ridge running from north-west to south-east, almost the full width of the cemetery. Above and below, the low walls terminate in a stone plinth, formerly occupied by large urns, now (2002) missing. Beyond the first flight of steps, flanked to either side by well-maintained lawns, pedestrian routes curve uphill to the north-east and south-east. The route to the north-east passes, on the east side, a grass bank sloping upwards, occupied by a fine range of monuments, some of the oldest in the cemetery, and proceeds to the site of the former Church of England chapel. The lower part of some of the walls of the former chapel have been adapted to house memorial plaques, a feature now (2002) called the Memorial Wall, situated 110m north-north-east of the main entrance. The route curving up to the south-east, a ramped path with railings (late-C20), passes, on the north-east, a fine range of monuments, and proceeds towards the present cemetery chapel, formerly the Nonconformist chapel, and the crematorium. Vehicular access to the cemetery chapel and crematorium proceeds from the main entrance, where the carriageway divides into two carriage routes, one leading to the north-west and one leading to the south-east, each running roughly parallel to the south-west boundary. The carriage route leading south-east is lined by an avenue of mixed tree species, with well-maintained grass and some tree specimens on the slope to the north-east. Close to the south-east boundary the carriage route curves steeply uphill, passing a war memorial situated 250m south-east of the main entrance, to join a wide linear promenade and carriage route running along the crest, leading north-west to the present chapel and crematorium buildings. The footpaths and roads in the section of the cemetery north-east of the promenade and carriage route, many tree-lined, are laid out in a rectilinear grid giving access to the various parts of the cemetery.
Proceeding north-west the promenade and carriage route reaches a wide rondpoint, situated 80m north-east of the main entrance at the top of the stone steps. From the rondpoint a broad central drive leads downhill to the north-east. A semicircular route, situated north-east of the rondpoint, is laid out about the central drive and is served by two diagonal paths leading to the north-north-east and east-south-east. The broad central carriage route crosses the semicircular route 160m north-east of the main entrance and immediately south of this junction stands a war memorial in Portland stone (Sir R Blomfield c 1920, listed grade II). The broad central tree-lined drive proceeds downhill, to the next cross-route junction, situated 230m north-east of the main entrance, which marks the limit to the south-east of the section of the cemetery here registered. Some 315m north-east of the main entrance the broad central drive connects to a further cross-route, also tree-lined, which leads north-west towards the Roman Catholic chapel of St Michael. Immediately north-west of the chapel, 340m north-east of the main entrance, is the Belgian War Memorial (c 1920, listed grade II) commemorating Belgian soldiers and refugees who died in Sheffield during the First World War.
The cross route continues north-west from the Roman Catholic chapel towards the cemetery entrance on Harwich Road, linking to a drive which commences immediately south-east of the Harwich Road entrance lodge and leads south-west, running parallel to the north-west boundary wall, through an area of headstones of a wide range of style and age. The footpaths and roads giving access to the section of the cemetery south-east of the drive are laid out in a rectilinear grid. The irregular topography in the section of the cemetery 210m north of the main entrance partly reflects the site of an early sandstone quarry (OS 1850). The drive curves south-west to join the north-west end of the main promenade and carriage route which from here continues as a tree-lined carriage route curving downhill steeply and sharply to the south-east, to return to the main entrance.
The structural planting of trees indicated on the OS map of 1890, which largely comprises of dense avenues of trees lining the main carriage routes, boundary tree planting, more open avenues on minor routes, and some specimen planting, remains (2002) largely evident. Tree planting carried out in the C20 has enhanced the original structure by introducing seasonal interest and replanting parts of, and reinforcing, existing tree groupings.
Welsh S, Biographical notes and a list of the Principal Works of John Weightman et al (1975), 61-2
150 years of Architectural Drawings: Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson Sheffield 1834-1984 (1984), 13-14, 71-3
Evinson D, The Lord's House (1995), 62
Plan of the City Road Cemetery from Local Bye-Laws, Vol 3, No 12, City of Sheffield, City Road Cemetery: Rules & Regulations, 176 feet to an Inch, 1903 (Sheffield Local Studies Library)
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1850
OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1889-92, published 1892-4
Sheffield Burial Board Minute Book, 1877-80 (Sheffield Archives)
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
City Road Cemetery is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* City Road is a good example of a late Victorian public cemetery (1881) for an expanding industrial city.
* Designed by the Sheffield architectural practice of Messrs M E Hadfield and Son, its formal layout makes dramatic use of sloping ground.
* The site was formerly dominated by a pair of chapels standing on a great terrace above the monumental gateway ensemble which includes a tower, in Tudor Revival style. The chapels flanked the axial rond point. Anglican chapel was demolished but the remaining Non-Conformist chapel was extended as an early example of a crematorium (1904-05). The later Roman Catholic chapel (1898-1900) stands towards the back of the site.
* For its artistically notable variety of monuments including many C19 and early-C20 Sheffield worthies.
* The planting largely survives, particularly dense avenues of trees lining the main carriage routes, boundary tree planting, more open avenues on minor routes, and some specimen planting.
* The cemetery layout, its planting & structures survive intact, largely in good condition, except for the chapel.
Description written: June 2002
Amended: July 2002
Register Inspector: JS
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, 31 January 2017.