Manchester Crematorium Barlow Moor Road
MANCHESTER CREMATORIUM. - This crematorium, of which the Duke of Westminster is the president and Mr Henry Simon of Manchester the chairman, is situated alongside the Manchester southern cemetery on the Barlow Moor Road, and is within one mile of the Chorlton-cum-Hardy station on the Cheshire Lines Railway. It was built in 1892, and consists of a hall or chapel, and a separate contiguous chamber containing the furnace. Columbaria for the reception of urns and memorial tablets are provided in arched recesses on the inside and outside of the principal walls of the building. The hall is about 50 feet long by 25 feet wide and of proportionate height. In the centre of the wall opposite to the principal entrance is placed the aperture leading to the furnace, which in the separate space occupies basement and ground floor. A vestry or record room, and a retiring room, lavatories, &c., are situated at the back of the hall, which is flanked on either side by open arched colonnades raised above the level of the ground, protecting the columbaria in the outside wall. Dignity is given to the main entrance to the hall by means of a lofty arched porch, from which steps connect on either side to the outer colonnades and columbaria. Draught is supplied to the furnace by a chimney hidden in a tower, which gives the building the appearance of a church. It is constructed throughout in terra cotta, and the style of architecture resembles that of some of the oldest churches in Lombardy and Venice. The general arrangement and details of the furnace are from the plans of Mr. Henry Simon, who personally superintended its erection. It is so constructed that the raw fuel does not come in contact with the body; the coffin is noiselessly introduced by invisible machinery. Coke or Welsh anthracite coal is used for the production of the gas; and the cremation is absolutely smokeless. The time of cremation of each body is about seventy-five minutes on an average; and since the opening about sixty cremations have taken place. The total cost of the building and furnace was about £7,000.
THE PROPOSED CREMATORIUM FOR MANCHESTER - The above is a sketch taken from the designs of Messrs Salomons and Steinthal, architects of this city of the crematorium and columbarium it is proposed to erect in Manchester. At the statutory meeting of the shareholders of the company which has been formed to establish the crematorium, reported in Friday's Courier, it was stated that the directors had selected a plot of land available for the building of such a place on the Chorlton side of Southern Cemetery, on Barlow Moor-road. The crematorium would thus form, as it were, a continuation of Southern Cemetery so that there exists a possibility of it, at some future time, being incorporated with the cemetery, should this ever be thought desirable. The chairman of the directors, Mr H Simon, having inspected the Paris Crematorium at Pere la Chaise, and those at Zurich, Milan and Woking, it was decided that in connection with that at Manchester a furnace shall be constructed which will be an improvement on all those visited, including that at Zurich, which, from an engineer's point of view, is considered the most perfect. The design given above has been made to meet this effort of the directors. The proposed crematorium will consist of a hall or chapel containing the furnace with open columbaria for the reception of the urns and memorial tablets, and it is proposed to place the same in the centre of the plot of land acquired and about 50 yards from the road frontage, The hall will be about 50 feet long by 25 feet wide, and of proportionate height; in the centre of one end of the same, against the wall, will be placed the furnace, concealed in an ornamental marble shell, doors on either side of the same giving access to the vestry and record room on one side and to the room for the gas generator etc. on the other, steps from the latter leading down to the engineer's room in the basement. The hall will be flanked on either side by an open arched colonnading, raised three feet above the level of the ground, forming a columbarium, the recesses for the urns being formed in the exterior of the wall of the hall. Should more wall surface be required for this purpose in the future, this colonnading will be extended on either side to the rear of the main building, forming a sort of open cloister or, if thought desirable, a series of cloisters in the rear of the same. Dignity is given to the main entrance to the hall by means of a lofty arched porch from which a few steps lead on either hand to the columbaria. An important feature of the composition will be a tower containing and masking the flue from the furnace. The style selected for the building is Romanesque, and it is proposed to build the same in stone with red tiled roofs. Space has been provided for the future possible addition of an organ over the rooms at the further end of the hall.It is intended not only to provide columbaria for urns to be placed in, but also to allow the burial of urns in the soil, should that be found desirable, and as carried out in the Milan and other crematoriums, where many of the resting places of cremated bodies are exactly the same as ordinary well-kept graves, with trees and flowers. It is thought that if the directors can commence building operations this year, the crematorium might be ready for use by the end of next autumn. Manchester Courier Tuesday 9 September 1890 Page 8 with illustration]
THE MANCHESTER CREMATORIUM - By the end of next autumn the Directors of the Manchester Crematorium Company Limited hope to see in stone and mortar the building which is here portrayed in black and white. Only £3,000 out of a necessary £6,000 has been subscribed in shares, but it is understood that the Company, as they have sufficient money in hand to erect the essential parts of the structure, will at once proceed with it. After carefully considering the question of site, the Directors have agreed that a piece of land which lies on the Chorlton side of the Southern Cemetery should be acquired from Lord Egerton, whose agent has agreed to sell what is needed. The Crematorium will thus form a continuation of the Cemetery, with which it may, if desired, be easily incorporated at some future time. Messrs Salomons and Steinthal, the architects, have prepared plans from which it appears that the proposed crematorium will occupy the centre of a plot of land about fifty yards from the road frontage. It will consist of a hall or chapel containing the furnace with “columbaria” for the reception of the urns and memorial tablets. The hall will be about 50 feet long by 25 feet wide, and of proportionate height. In the centre of one end, against the wall, will be placed the furnace, concealed in an ornamental marble shell. A door on each side of the furnace will give access to the vestry and record room, and on the other side a corresponding passage will lead to the room for the gas generator, from which in turn the descent will be continued to the engineers room and the basement. On each side the hall will be flanked by open arched colonnading, raised three feet above the level of the ground, forming a columbarium, or place for memorial tablets and the deposit of the remains of the dead. Recesses for the urns will be provided in the exterior of the wall of the hall, and should more wall space be required for this purpose in the future, this colonnading may be extended either at the sides or to the rear of the main building, forming a sort of open cloister or, if thought desirable, a series of cloisters. Dignity is given to the main entrance by the introduction of an arched and lofty porch. A tower containing and masking the flue from the furnace is an important feature of the composition of the general design. Should the introduction of an organ become desirable, space will be found for the instrument at the further end of the hall. The directors intend not only to provide columbaria for the reception of urns, but also to make provision for the burial of urns in the soil, after the style of Milan and other crematoriums, where many of the graves in which cremated bodies have been deposited lend themselves to floral decoration and have the same appearance as ordinary burial grounds. [Manchester Guardian 11 November 1890 page 9]
THE MANCHESTER CREMATORIUM. Erected at a cost of about £4.000, the Manchester Crematorium is now rapidly approaching completion. It is situated in Barlow Moor-road, in close proximity to the Southern Cemetery, to which it is a proper adjunct. Viewed from the exterior, it is church-like in form, with hall and rooms corresponding with nave and chancel, an arcading on either side of the "nave," and square tower 75 feet high at the south-east end, which effectually conceals the chimney shaft from view. As no smoke is emitted from this flue, there is nothing to excite repugnance or to suggest to the observer the technical character of the structure. The crematorium is without doubt a handsome addition to our local architecture. It is built chiefly of terra-cotta, though iron, brick, stone, and marble enter into its composition, while the main floors are choice Roman mosaic. The style of architecture modern treatment of Romanesque, approximating Lombardic work, and the material of which is composed naturally renders it very durable. Outside, the colour is buff; inside, more of cream colour. The hall is approached through a magnificent porch, the ornamental arch which is supported upon fluted spiral columns with florid capitals. The hall about 50 feet long by 25 feet wide, and reaches a height of over 30 feet. Light is admitted through 24 side windows of richly coloured glass, each of different design, There is also a beautiful wheel window, in what would correspond to the east end of church. This window has eight large lights of charming tints. All the windows are near the roof, thus allowing the wail space below to be utilised for urns and tablets, for which purpose recesses have been left. These will take a long time to fill, but the work of doing so can be made to add to the dignity and solemnity of the crematorium. Under the great wheel window is the opening through which the remains of the dead pass into the furnace. This is concealed from view by ornamental marble slab, under a canopy of bath stone which has been elaborately carved by Mr Millson of this city. In front of this is the catafalque made of iron, but entirely concealed from view by rich drapery. The catafalque is elevated about couple of feet from the floor. By cleverly arranged piece of mechanism, when the time for the removal of the body has arrived, the attendant will press an electric button, and the coffin will quietly disappear. The large hall flanked on either side by open arched colonnading, slightly raised from the ground, forming a columbarium, the recesses for urns being formed the exterior of the wall of the hall. Should more wall surface required for this purpose in the future this colonnading will extended on either side to the rear the main building, forming a sort of open cloister, or, if thought desirable, series of cloisters. Every part of this fine building shows how admirably the work has been done, and it will ever remain a creditable monument of the architectural skill of Messrs Salomons and Steinthal, of this city. The tower is a useful as well as an ornamental part of the structure. The furnace, or crematorium proper, occupies a considerable space in rear of the hall, and has so constructed that no fumes or smoke escape into the air. Coke is the fuel used, and it is estimated that about one ton suffices reduce a body to ashes. By a careful arrangement of valves sufficient oxygen is admitted to the carbonic oxide to secure complete combustion. All that will remain of a body after cremation is about 3 lb. or 4 lb of calcined matter, which will deposited in an urn, and placed on shelves or in the earth, as the friends of the deceased may determine. The heat generated for cremation will be about 1,800 degrees, the melting point of silver. Asbestos brushes will be used for sweeping the furnace, which has two floors, and an iron receptacle at one end receives all that is left from both. There are neatly furnished waiting-rooms or vestries in this portion of the building. The ground on which the crematorium stands is about three-quarters of acre in extent, and is now being tastefully laid out. A number of shrubs and trees have been planted, and these are growing luxuriously. Here, as in Milan and other cemeteries, cremated bodies may be buried as ordinary graveyards, with well-kept graves ornamented with trees and flowers. To secure perfect freedom from any escaping fumes from the crematorium a fumiverous furnace has also been provided. The roofs of the buddings are pitch pine, stained and covered with tiles harmonising with the buff colour of the main building. The total length of the structure is 95 feet; total width 48 feet; height to the springing of the arched roof 28m feet, and total height to top of ceiling 35 feet; total cost of the whole scheme about £7,500. A list of the shareholders of The Manchester Crematorium Limited includes gentlewomen, architects, surgeons, merchants, cotton manufacturers, publishers, magistrates, solicitors, commercial travellers, civil engineers, inspectors of factories, underwriters, clergymen, bankers, barristers, musicians, chemists, etc. It is intended to add an organ to the interior and other adjuncts for the carrying out of the services with dignity and decorum. [Manchester Courier 13 August 1892 page 20]