OCTOBER 2018 – WALK EVERY DAY FOR A WEEK CHALLENGE – DAY 3
Today I had an amazing time at the Sheffield General Cemetery. It was a fresh, sunny day, ideal for an autumn walk. Exploring the tumbledown and overgrown tombs is a great way to spend a few hours. The site is full of historical interest, wildlife and character.
Sheffield General Cemetery
Opening in 1836 Sheffield General Cemetery was the principal burial ground for the city. By the time it closed in 1978 it had over 87,000 burials. It is now a park owned by the city and managed by the Sheffield General Cemetery Trust, a local community and conservation group. As well as being a grade II listed landscape on the English Heritage National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens it is also a Local Nature Reserve.
I love walking through this place especially at this time of the year. The cemetery is full of autumnal colours with shades of brown, yellow and red. The beautiful old and overgrown graves are scattered all over the cemetery. It reminds me of Abney Park in Stoke Newington, one of the seven garden cemeteries of London . This is where my husband took me for our first date, soon after we met. 😀
Samuel Worth Chapel
The recently restored nonconformist chapel is probably the best-known building in the cemetery. It is called the Samuel Worth Chapel and it was completed before the cemetery opened in 1836. It is built in a classical Greek revival style but the influence of other ancient architectural styles can also be seen. For instance, there is something of ancient Egyptian architecture in the design of the main entrance doorway.
Furthermore, there is quite a lot going on at the cemetery including guided walks, craft activities and seasonal family events. Check the Sheffield General Cemetery Trust’s website for their upcoming events. Moreover, the chapel is available to hire; you can hold your wedding party, film night and music events here.
There are many interesting and fine 19th century tombs in classical and gothic styles which are decorated with elaborate carvings and sculpture. Not surprisingly angels are a common motif. Of the grander tombs, one of the most prominent is that of a cutlery merchant William Parker. Apparently, he died in 1837 by apoplexy.
The Anglican Chapel
The Anglican chapel, added in 1850, is a Grade II listed building. Sheffield architect William Flockton designed the building in the Gothic Revival style. Both tower and spire seem very tall when compared to the length of the church itself. However, this was intentional to make the chapel visible for some considerable distance all around, and thereby mark the cemetery itself in the city landscape.
Unlike the Samuel Worth Chapel, which has been brought back into use, the Anglican Chapel remains derelict and boarded up. Apparently, it is now in private hands and the roof has recently been repaired. There have been plans to convert the building into residential use but these not come to anything as yet.
Finally, I leave you with a few images of autumn and some pretty squirrels I was watching chasing each other.
If you would like to know more about my walk challenge this month, you can read all about it here.
Have you been to Sheffield General Cemetery?
Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear your views.
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