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HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT

The Burial Board Act of 1854 authorised the setting up of burial boards outside London and in November of the same year an order-in-council vested powers in Norwich Town Council to provide burial places in the city. In March of the following year the Board purchased c 30 acres (12.5ha) of land at Earlham from John Cater and in May Mr Benest, the City Surveyor, laid before the Committee plans for lodges, offices, and twin chapels, together with estimates for the laying out of the ground. Work commenced immediately, including the erection of a separate chapel for Jews, with the result that the Committee were ready to accept applications for plots in January 1856. In 1874 a further 15 acres (6.25ha) were added to the south and a Roman Catholic chapel was erected, to a design by Mr Pearce, an architect appointed by the Catholic community. The cemetery continued to grow to the south and east until by 1892 it was enclosed on all sides except the west by housing. By 1892 a large isolation hospital was under construction along part of its western boundary and in the same year a large triangle of 40 acres (c 16.5ha) of land to the west was purchased from S Gurney Buxton and Edward North Buxton, the trustees of the late John Gurney. Some 7 acres (c 3ha) on the south side of the new hospital were laid out for cemetery use immediately, the remainder being let as allotments. By 1926 the area of cemetery extended as far west as Farrow Road which had been constructed to run north/south through part of the western triangle. After the Second World War, the land on the west side of Farrow Road was taken into the cemetery when a memorial to lost civilians was laid out there. In 1963-4 the original twin chapels built by Benest were replaced by a crematorium building on the same site, which was designed by the City Architect, David Percival. The cemetery remains (2001) in local authority ownership.

Site timeline

1874: A further 6.25 hectares were added to the south and a Roman Catholic chapel was erected.

After 1945: After World War 2, the land on the west side of Farrow Road was taken into the cemetery when a memorial to lost civilians was laid out there.

1963 to 1964: The original twin chapels built by Benest were replaced by a crematorium building on the same site.

People associated with this site

Features

planting

War Memorial garden, enclosed by yew hedges.

chapel

A flint and tile gothic Roman Catholic chapel.

chapel

A flint and tile gothic Roman Catholic chapel.

planting

A yew-enclosed garden of remembrance, dedicated to civilians who lost their lives in the Second World War.

railings

The site is enclosed by metal railings.

chapel

A small brick and tile Jewish mortuary chapel.

gate lodge

North Lodge, of the same style and date as South Lodge.

drive

A 180 metre long drive lined with limes.

serpentine path

entrance

The main entrance to the 20th-century extension lies on the west side of Farrow Road opposite the gates to the 19th-century cemetery, the two sets of gates forming a visual link between the two areas.

walk

The main walk is lined with Cypress trees. Many of the others are distinguished by different varieties forming their avenues. These include a birch walk, a cherry walk, and a pine walk.

entrance

Feature created: 1900 to 1933

The early-20th-century Farrow Road entrance comprises ornamental iron gates hung between brick gate piers surmounted by stone caps.

gate lodge

Feature created: 1856

South Lodge (Benest 1856), a gothic two-storey building of red brick and tile.

planting

Feature created: 1933 to 1967

Mid to late-20th-century gardens of remembrance, enclosed and divided by hedges. The main area is laid out as a rose garden, with smaller enclosures containing lawns and rock gardens.

War memorial

Feature created: 1878

The Soldier's Monument, a column with a terracotta figure of the spirit of the Army by John Bell. Made by Doultons, it was erected in 1878. It is surrounded by lines of simple headstones commemorating the losses of several wars.