Tyne and Wear HER(15965): Houghton-le-Spring, Hillside Cemetery, lych gate - Details
Houghton-le-Spring, Hillside Cemetery, lych gate
Religious Ritual and Funerary
The lych gate was built in 1862. It was funded by Sir George Elliot Bart MP. The architect was a Mr Butterfield of London. The builder was a Mr Brookes of Houghton and he used stone from Usworth Quarry. The metal railings were by Mr Walker of Newcastle and the oak gates by Mr Henry of Durham. In the 1960s a car crashed from Houghton Cut into the lych gate and left it in ruins. The structure was restored in 2006-7 through grants from the Local Heritage Initiative and Sunderland City Council SIB Coalfields. On day four of the work a time capsule was found in the south pier of the archway. The corked glass jar contained pages of paper and coins dating to 1853, 1860 and 1861. Paper conservator Matt Parsons at Tyne and Wear Museums examined the soggy paper pages. These turned out to be a Handbook for the Clergy. On 29 August 2006 a new time capsule was placed in the south pier of the lych gate. On 8 September 2006 the cross was erected on the top of the rebuilt lych gate. In November 2006 small grants from Sunderland Housing's ASPIRE fund and AllChurches Trust were received. City of Sunderland Council Park's Department provided further money. In May 2007 the dwarf wall was rebuilt and railings installed. In February 2009 vandals broke off the cross.
Paul Lanagan, 2004-2012, Houghton Hillside Cemetery Lych Gate Restoration, www.houghtonlespring.org.uk/hillsidecemetery; Friends of Hillside Cemetery website http://www.theoldcem.co.uk