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The General Cemetery, Leverington Road, Wisbech 6228

Short Description

Features of The General Cemetery included a path, a bungalow, shrubs and a mown lawn. Most of these features are grown over.

Detailed Description

In 1848 the Committee of Management set about planting evergreens and other trees and shrubs to make the site more like ‘a pleasure ground than a receptacle for death'. This ambitious ideal was influenced by the Pere la Chaisse Cemetery in Paris and Highgate Cemetery in London.

A photograph taken in 1912 shows the cemetery intact with all its buildings standing, but in 1972 the grounds were overgrown with brambles and are now reached by a path beside a bungalow. The drive to the cemetery has been lost and a timber merchants yard replaces the approach to the Mortuary Chapel. In 1974 the Local Authority acquired the site and sought to clear the grounds and demolish the chapel.

Today only the Chapel walls stand, the roof has fallen in, and scaffolding stops the walls collapsing. All around the trees have grown to such size that they dominate the cemetery. Walker's print of 1849 depicted a simple classical chapel standing elegantly amongst mown lawns and small evergreen shrubs.

Gone are the neat lawns and now primroses carpet the ground. A cedar, variegated hollies, Irish and English yews are dwarfed by sycamores and the original layout is completely lost. The graves of Samuel Smith, local photographer, and Basil Lambert, a recent benefactor to the town, are only just discernable. In 2000 a local group began to take care of the cemetery and restore its features.

  • Path
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  • Chapel
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  • Lawn
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  • Shrub Feature
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Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

This site is a cemetery. The cemetery is open for people to walk through, from dawn til dusk daily.

Civil Parish

  • Wisbech


The General Cemetery was created in the mid-19th century as a burial ground.

Detailed History

After many years' use, the Churchyard of St Peters had become so crowded that a new site was required for burial. One hectare was purchased along Leverington Road for 950 pounds in 1836, and the grounds were laid out with a classical Chapel in the centre designed by William Adams in 1848.


  • Victorian (1837-1901)


  • Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust