Norwich Cemetery (also known as Earlham Road Cemetery)2446

Norwich, England, Norfolk, Norwich

Brief Description

This is a cemetery founded in 1855 by the Corporation of Norwich and laid out by the city surveyor Ernest Benest, extended until 1945. The cemetery contains many 19th-century features including a lodge, a war memorial and the superintendent's house. Other features include entrances, two small chapels and gardens of remembrance. The paths around the cemetery are laid out in a rectangular or grid-iron fashion, with serpentine paths in the north-east corner.

History

In March 1855 the Burial Board purchased about 12.5 hectares of land at Earlham. 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, and plots were available from January 1856.

Visitor Facilities

This is a municipal site for general public use. It is generally open from dawn until dusk. https://www.norwich.gov.uk/info/20203/cemeteries_and_crematorium/1403/cemetery_opening_times

Terrain

Level

Detailed Description

The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

A public cemetery laid out from 1856 onwards by the City Surveyor, E E Benest.

DESCRIPTION

LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING

Norwich City Cemetery lies on the west side of Norwich city centre. It is enclosed by metal railings which are bounded to the south by the gardens of houses lying along Earlham Road, to the north by Bowthorpe Road (in the C19 known as Workhouse Lane), and to the east by private gardens, while the western triangle is enclosed by Bowthorpe Road to the north-west and Gipsy Lane to the south-west. The c 35ha site occupies level ground, the C19 and C20 sections being divided by Farrow Road which runs north/south through the site.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES

There are three main entrances to the C19 section, located off Earlham Road, Bowthorpe Road, and Farrow Road. The early C20 Farrow Road entrance comprises ornamental iron gates hung between brick gate piers surmounted by stone caps. From Earlham Road the main drive runs north for c 175m, partly between private gardens, to South Lodge (Benest 1856), a gothic two-storey building of red brick and tile. The drive continues north for a further c 150m to the crematorium, originally the site of Benest's twin chapels. North Lodge, of the same style and date as South Lodge, stands on Bowthorpe Road, to the west side of a c180m drive lined with limes which terminates at the crematorium and continues the same axis as the south drive.

The main entrance to the C20 extension lies on the west side of Farrow Road opposite the gates to the C19 cemetery, the two sets of gates forming a visual link between the two areas. There is also a minor entrance to this section of the cemetery half way along Gipsy Lane.

PRINCIPAL BUILDINGS

The principal building within Norwich City Cemetery is the crematorium, built in 1963-4 on the eastern side of the site. It occupies the same position as the twin chapels originally erected in 1856 to designs by E E Benest. These two buildings sat on either side of the main north/south drive which ran between them. The crematorium, designed and built by David Percival, uses the same footprint as the original chapels, which he joined with a connecting building. The original fish-scale roof tiles were reused in the design.

Some 100m to the south of the crematorium, on the west side of the south drive, stands a flint and tile gothic Roman Catholic chapel (Pearce 1874); c 220m to the north-west of the crematorium is a small brick and tile Jewish mortuary chapel (Benest 1856).

OTHER LAND

The mid-C19 ground surrounding the crematorium and lying to the east of the hospital buildings retains most of its original layout. In contrast to the grid pattern which covers the majority of the ground, the north-east corner is laid out with serpentine paths and planted with many mature forest trees. The main walks in this area are tarmac, while the complex system of interconnecting small paths are grass. Within this area, c250m to the north-east of the crematorium, stands 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.

Immediately to the west and north-west of the crematorium are mid to late-C20 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.

The remainder of the C19 ground is laid out in a grid pattern. The main coaxial walks are tarmacked and bordered by groups of trees and shrubs of C19 origin, while the remaining paths are grass. Many of the intersections are marked by small iron grid markers. Approximately 300m to the south-west of the crematorium is a War Memorial garden, enclosed by yew hedges. On the west side of Farrow Road stands the C20 extension to the cemetery. Immediately inside the gates of Farrow Road is a yew-enclosed garden of remembrance, dedicated to civilians who lost their lives in the Second World War. Beyond this lies the cemetery, laid out in a grid pattern, its main walk aligned on the gates and one of the paths across the road in the C19 ground. The main walk is lined with Cypress trees, while many of the others are distinguished by different varieties forming their avenues; these include a birch walk, a cherry walk, and a pine walk. The whole of the extension area is surrounded by railings with a hedge which includes many mature lime trees.

REFERENCES

Pevsner N and Wilson B, The Buildings of England: Norfolk 1 Norwich and North-east (1998 edn), 338-9

Maps

W S Millard and J Manning, City map, 1830 (MF/60 397/6), (Norfolk Record Office)

A W Morant, Map of the city of Norwich, 1873 (N/TC 62/2), (Norfolk Record Office)

E E Benest, Plan of the cemetery ground, 1888 (N/TC 48/10), (Norfolk Record Office)

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1880-2, published 1888; 2nd edition published 1908; 1938 edition

OS 1:500 map of Norwich city, 1885 (AWA 1/11), (Norfolk Record Office)

Archival items

Burial Board Minute Books, 1854-1929 (N/TC 48/2-11; N/TC 5/4A-D; N/TC 62/2), (Norfolk Record Office)

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION

Norwich City (Earlham Road) Cemetery is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Norwich City Cemetery is a High Victorian cemetery (1856) laid out for a Burial Board.

* The cemetery was laid out to a formal geometrical plan conceived by the Surveyor to the Burial Board, E E Benest.

* The layout of the cemetery survives substantially intact although the original chapels (Benest, 1856) have been replaced by a crematorium designed by the City Architect, David Percival (1963-4).

* The cemetery contains a Jewish section and associated mortuary chapel (Benest, 1856).

* The cemetery contains a mid-C20 memorial garden and a War Memorial Garden.

* The cemetery has a good collection of funerary monuments, including the Soldier's Monument (Doulton, 1878) and a group of military memorials.

Description written: September 2001

Edited: December 2009

Features
  • Crematorium (featured building)
  • Description: 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.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Railings
  • Description: The site is enclosed by metal railings.
  • Entrance
  • Description: The early-20th-century Farrow Road entrance comprises ornamental iron gates hung between brick gate piers surmounted by stone caps.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Gate Lodge
  • Description: South Lodge (Benest 1856), a gothic two-storey building of red brick and tile.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Gate Lodge
  • Description: North Lodge, of the same style and date as South Lodge.
  • Drive
  • Description: A 180 metre long drive lined with limes.
  • Entrance
  • Description: 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.
  • Chapel
  • Description: A flint and tile gothic Roman Catholic chapel.
  • Chapel
  • Description: A flint and tile gothic Roman Catholic chapel.
  • Chapel
  • Description: A small brick and tile Jewish mortuary chapel.
  • War Memorial
  • Description: 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.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Planting
  • Description: 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.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Planting
  • Description: War Memorial garden, enclosed by yew hedges.
  • Planting
  • Description: A yew-enclosed garden of remembrance, dedicated to civilians who lost their lives in the Second World War.
  • Walk
  • Description: 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.
Serpentine Path
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

This is a municipal site for general public use. It is generally open from dawn until dusk. https://www.norwich.gov.uk/info/20203/cemeteries_and_crematorium/1403/cemetery_opening_times
History

Detailed History

The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

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.

Period

  • Mid 19th Century
Associated People

Just one person associated to Norwich Cemetery

Contact
References

References