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Tyne and Wear HER(5207): Elswick, Westgate Road, Westgate Hill Cemetery - Details

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Elswick, Westgate Road, Westgate Hill Cemetery



Religious Ritual and Funerary

Funerary Site


Early Modern



Westgate Hill Cemetery was the first commercial cemetery founded in Newcastle and one of the first ten in England. It opened in 1829. The Westagte Hill Cemetery Company commissioned John Green architect and William Falla, landscape gardener, to lay out the cemetery. The cemetery was created in response to the lack of facilities provided for burial - overcrowded churchyards at a time when there was a cholera epidemic. The land was obtained for £1500 in 1828. Cook and Robinson were chosen to do the masonry work, Robert Wilson made the wrought iron palisades, and Robert Elliot the cast iron gates. Plans of the cemetery show that the finished landscaping included serpentine paths, and undulating ground planted with trees and shrubs. Today the original paths are mostly lost. The ground level in the cemetery was raised at the eastern end to provide a more level area. Today the undulating ground has diminished in height and the lack of planting has meant the original design of the cemetery has almost been lost. The cemetery was entered from Westgate Hill through ashlar pillars and gateway. There was a turning circle for carriages. The steps at the southern corner were probably added after 1954 following the demolition of a lavatory. The whole cemetery is enclosed by a sandstone wall, originally capped by railings (listed grade 2). At the south end, a drinking fountain is built into the wall (listed grade 2). The square gate piers are also listed. They were originally flanked by footgates. There was a lodge and chapel of rest, demolished in 1970. The footings are still visible. The cemetery contains two listed tombs, the L'Anson tomb and Clennell family tomb. Last burial was in 1957 {13}. REGISTERED HISTORIC PARK.




<< HER 5207 >> English Heritage, 2003, Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest, GD 3605 F.Green, 2001, Appraisal of Historic Landscape at Westgate Hill Cemetery, Unpublished report F. Green, 1995, A Guide to the Historic Parks and Gardens of Tyne and Wear, p 27 Westgate Hill Cemetery: foundation and annual reports, Local tracts, Newcastle Library Local Studies, D39 (L042) E. Dodds, 1916, The Epitaphs in Westgate Cemetery, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle Library Local Studies, L929.5 N536 Westgate Hill Cemetery, Evening Chronicle, 16 Nov 1959, p5 1912, Westgate Hill, General Cemetery, Newcastle, Tyne and Wear Archive Service Acc. No CE/WGH Acc. 558 T432 Burial register, 1829-1846, (1 vol) 1846-1857 (1 vol), Tyne and Wear Archive Service, Acc. No CE/WGH/1/1-2 Burial register, Tyne and Wear Archive Service, Acc. No CE/WGH/2/1-4 Purchased vaults and graves register, Tyne and Wear Archive Service, Acc. No CE/WGH/3 Register of share transfers, 1832-64, Tyne and Wear Archive Service, Acc. No DX446 Acc. No 558 1968, Newcastle City Council Proceedings 1967-68, Tyne and Wear Archive Service, 99 964-966 1971, Minutes of the Parks Cemeteries and Allotments group, 1963-71, Tyne and Wear Archive Service, Acc. No 589/854-857 Burial register 1957, Burial register, no. 4 1828-1957, Tyne and Wear Archive Service, Acc. No CE/WGH/2/4 F. Green, 1995, Historic Parks & Gardens in Tyne and Wear, Stage 2 Research; Thomas Oliver, 1844, Historical and Descriptive Reference to the Public Buildings on the Plan of the Borough of Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead; English Heritage, Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest, Ref. 5275, edited December 2009; Alan Morgan, 2004, Beyond the Grave - Exploring Newcastle's Burial Grounds, pages 106-119

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