Toxteth Cemetery

Northern Daily Times, Tuesday July 6th 1855

Toxteth Park General Cemetery

Yesterday the laying of the foundation stone of the church and chapel of the Toxteth Park General Cemetery, for the performance of the burial service according to the rites of the Established church and other religious denominations took place at 3 o’ clock.

The cemetery is bordered on the north side by Smithdown Lane, and the large tract of land which is composed of 30 acres has been purchased from the Earl of Sefton at a cost of £15,000, by the burial board of Toxteth Park for the use of the township.

One portion will be laid aside for the Established church, and on this, of which the foundation stone was laid yesterday, the church is being erected. The remainder of the ground and the chapel in the course of erection, will be used for other denominations, Presbyterians, Methodists, Independents, Unitarians and Roman Catholics.

A very large number of persons attended the ceremony, members of the burial board, the West Derby Guardians and their families. Amongst the clergymen present were, Rev Rector CAMPBELL, Rev Mr HAMPTON, Rev Mr POWELL, Rev Mr MOORE, Rev Mr WEST, Rev J. ROBBERDS and Rev Mr HARKINS.

Appropriate prayers were offered by Rev Mr HAMPTON, Mr H. S. ALPASS presented the silver trowel to Mr Matthew GREGSON, Chairman of the burial board and watch committee, who layed the foundation stones of the church and chapel.

Mr GREGSON stated, the cemetery was intended for all denominations and classes of people, its extent was 30 acres, only one body could be interred in any one grave, unless it were made a vault, or the body enclosed in a metal coffin. The committee had great difficulty procuring land for the cemetery due to the great restrictions in the act of parliament. The act required that the land should not be within 200yds of any building and that the land should be dry. If it is clay soil the body should be 20yrs in the ground before another interment be put in the same grave, if sandy soil then the period should be 15yrs. In Toxteth alone the number of interments last year were 1,500, as the number would probably increase they could conceive the difficulty the committee had in procuring land that would meet the requirements of the act of parliament. It was a most expensive undertaking but necessary in consequence of the closing of the cemeteries and churchyards in the town.

In conclusion Mr GREGSON said, the township was much indebted to Lord Sefton for having sold the land. He then placed a bottle containing the journals of the day and ground plan of the church in the place provided and covered it with a plate, the foundation stone was laid.

The plate bore the inscription :-

“Toxteth Park General Cemetery, This foundation stone of the church for the performance of the burial service according to the rites of the United Church of England and Ireland, was laid by Matthew GREGSON Esq, July 5th anno domini 1855. Burial Board - M. GREGSON, Chairman, Messers Thomas SMITH, Richard MILLER, Jos HAMILTON, Joseph D. CARTER, James ROBERTSON, H. S. ALPASS, W. H. OGDEN, David CRAIG. Architects Mr Thomas D. BARRY, Mr W. GAGE, Builder Mr John LEED, Clerk of the works Mr John HARTLEY."

The Rev Rector CAMPBELL then addresses the assembly, the party then passed over to the west side of the hill to the site of the chapel, where the same ceremony was gone through.

The inscription of the plate was slightly different from the above quoted, the words “otherwise than” being introduced before, “according to the rites.”

Prayers were offered by Rev Mr WEST and the assembly were addressed by him. Mr Joseph B. YATES, Mr W. RATHBONE and Rev Mr HARKUS rejoiced at the establishment of the cemetery, but regretted that the legislature by the absurd and foolish laws, should cause the separation in death, of those who were fast and firm friends in life, trusting in each others honour, believing in each others goodness, though of different faiths.


Liverpool Mercury June 11th, 1856

Consecration of Toxteth Park cemetery

On Monday the ceremony of consecrating that portion of the new cemetery of Toxteth Park to be set apart for interments, according to the rites of the Established Church was performed by the Lord Bishop of Chester. His Lordship arrived at the cemetery at a few minutes past 11am and was met at the gates by Mr Matthew GREGSON, Chairman and several members of the burial board. Invitations had been issued to a large number of influential persons in the district, but, the very unfavourable state of the weather prevented their attendance. The deputy-mayor Alderman. J. H. TURNER, Mr FERNIHOUGH, Mr WAGSTAFF, Mr H. HALHEAD, and one or two other members of the town council were present. On his Lordships arrival a procession was formed, consisting of his Lordship, the architect Mr T. D. BARRY. Mr GAY, the surveyor, the members of the burial board, the deputy -mayor, the town councillors and a few clergymen. The procession at once proceeded to the new chapel, where the petition of consecration was presented to his Lordship, who immediately commenced the ceremony. At this time the rain came down rapidly and continued to do so during the time the procession continued around the space to be consecrated. On arrival at the chapel the remaining portion of the service was gone through, his Lordship, considerately omitting a portion of the ceremony not essential, to allow the persons who had assembled to get shelter as quickly as possible. At the conclusion of the ceremony his Lordship at once left the grounds, and those that had assembled to witness it followed his Lordships example. In the afternoon a service was performed, and addresses were delivered in the dissenting chapel erected in the cemetery.

The new cemetery contains about 30 acres of land which has been very handsomely laid out by Mr GAY of Bradford. The total cost of the cemetery will be about £25,000. The two chapels on the grounds were erected from designs by Mr BARRY, and Mr John LADD of Edge Hill was the contractor. Not withstanding that the cemetery was constructed at the public expense, no provision has been made by the board for the burial of Roman Catholics within its precincts


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