Burngreave Cemetery was opened in the Victorian era in 1861. The local churchyards were rapidly approaching capacity and were becoming a health hazard due to the vile smells and leaking fluids which were polluting the already poor water supplies.
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The cemetery is situated in what was then Brightside Bierlow, one of the townships which made up Sheffield. A Burial Board was formed and a total of 27 acres of land belonging to the Duke of Norfolk and Earl Fitzwilliam were bought at a cost of £200 per acre. Architects were appointed to lay out the grounds and build the chapels and other buildings at a further cost of £11,600.
The buildings comprised of two mortuary chapels, on the left, the Church of England Consecrated Chapel linked by an archway supporting the clock-tower and bell-turret, to the mirrored Non-Conformist chapel. At the Melrose Road entrance stood the Superintendent’s House and Cemetery Office and at the other side of the gate was a house for the Sexton.
The Cemetery was officially opened by the Archbishop of York, Charles Thomas Longley, on 16th March 1861.
The first burial was that of five year old Oscar Brooks on 23rd March 1861.
Sheffield City Council took over responsibility for the Cemetery in 1900 and added a further nine acres to the site. This extension included a roadway to Scott Road where a lodge was built, and a small section for Roman Catholic burials. Burngreave Cemetery was a major facility for the City’s burials until the 1960’s, after which no new graves have been created.
Burials are now only conducted for families who already own plots and have where the grave still has space. The Cemetery remains a place of reverence for families visiting the graves, while also attracting joggers, dog walkers and those who just want the chance to relax amongst the wildlife and natural habitat while enjoying the magnificent views across the city.