Building Name

Southern Cemetery Chapels Lodges etc

1873 - 1879
Barlow Moor Road
Withington, Manchester
GMCA, England
Manchester Corporation
Competition entry
First premium
Grade II
R Neill and Son

MANCHESTER. - The Parks and Cemeteries Committee of the City Council have awarded the first premium of £100 to the plan sent in by Mr H. J. Paull, of S. Peter's‑square, for laying out the new cemetery in Barlow Moor‑lane. The area comprises 83 acres. The plan provides three chapels, one for the Established Church, another for the Nonconformists, and a third for the Roman Catholics. The chapels are not grouped together, as in other cemeteries, but are isolated from each other. There is a distinctive design in the English Gothic style for each chapel, but all three are harmonious. Mortuary chambers are attached to the Church of England and Dissenters' chapels respectively, but not to the Roman Catholic, the latter being cruciform in plan. There will be fixed seats for 95 adults in the Church building, for 80 in the Dissenters, 120 in the Roman Catholic. The cost of the buildings on the ground is estimated as follows : -Episcopal chapel, £1,550; Nonconformist chapel, £1,400; Roman Catholic chapel, £1,100; registrar's house, £1,500; lodge and entrance gates, etc, in Barlow Moor Lane, £900; ditto in Nell‑lane, £600; total, £7,350. [Building News 31 October 1873 page 499]

In 1872 Manchester Corporation purchased abot 40ha of land at a cost of £38,340 for the purpose of a cemetery (Illustrated Handbook, 1915), in open country to the south of the city. The architect for the cemetery was H J Paull (Brooks 1989) who is named as such on an engraved marble plaque in the registrar's office. Paull, then in partnership with Ayliffe, was also the designer of buildings at Phillips Park Cemetery (qv) in Manchester, opened in 1866. The plaque records that Manchester Southern Cemetery was opened on 9 October 1879 by the Mayor, Alderman Charles Sydney Grundy and lists the names of the Parks and Cemeteries Committee together with the Town Clerk, Joseph Heron. The design for the layout of the cemetery has been attributed to James Gascoigne Lynde, the City Surveyor from 1857 to 1879 (Axon 1886).

A plan by the City Surveyor, dated 1880, shows the 'Occupied Portion' of the cemetery, an area at the centre of the site extending from the south-west boundary to the north-east boundary. The area indicated includes the Church of England, Nonconformist, and Roman Catholic chapels linked by an elliptical drive centred on a main axis leading north-north-east from the principal entrance to the Church of England chapel and beyond to the north-east boundary. A symmetrical, radial path layout within the elliptical drive overlies a rectilinear pattern parallel to and on cross axes with the main axis, which extends beyond the drive. To the north-west of the Nonconformist chapel and to the south-east of the Roman Catholic chapel the rectilinear path layout, beyond the 'Occupied Portion', is indicated by dotted lines. A Jewish chapel at the west corner of the site is shown but no path layout indicated in the Jewish burial area. The 'Occupied Portion' shown on the plan was colour-washed to identify Church of England, Nonconformist, and Roman Catholic burial areas together with lawns and planting areas shown in green; the areas and layout are as indicated on the 1907 OS map.

In 1926 a further c 36ha of land was purchased to the north-east of Nell Lane for future expansion of the cemetery (outside the area here registered). The first section of the extension was opened in 1943 and the layout in this area continued the principal axis, running north-east from the principal entrance, and the rectilinear layout of the 1879 cemetery. Some 17ha of the land purchased in 1926, to the north and north-west, has since been developed with late-C20 housing. In 2001 the north-east section of the extension land remains unused for burials and is partly in use as allotment gardens. Manchester Southern Cemetery remains (2015) in use and in the ownership of Manchester City Council.