Following the adoptive Burial Acts of the 1850s, with later amending legislation, Hull Corporation established two large municipal cemeteries by the end of the century – Western Cemetery, Spring Bank West from 1861 and Hedon Road Cemetery from 1875.
Western Cemetery was in effect a continuation westward of the Hull General Cemetery site (see previous blog), although the two burial sites were separated by a fence. Sometimes called the Old Western Cemetery the municipal site stretched as far west as Chanterlands Avenue (now called). Late in 1884 the Corporation Burial Committee were seeking ‘additional burial accommodation’ and focused on farmland between the ‘old’ site and the Hull to Scarborough railway line. The ‘New’ Western Cemetery was opened in 1889. Early detailed O.S. maps for Hull show that these different sections of a linear burial area were laid-out with wide paths and the sites as they present today show that many, many trees and shrubs were planted to make these sites ‘green’ places of resort.
The picture above shows the view east through the entrance gates of the ‘New’ Western Cemetery to and entrance gate to the western part of the ‘Old’ Western Cemetery. It seems likely that a track was upgraded to the now Chanterlands Avenue at the same time while in March 1885 it was minuted that Walton Street railway crossing (nearby) was to be widened and the fencing and gateways in the ‘New’ section were to be like those at Hedon Road Cemetery. Later that year the Borough Engineer submitted a lay-out plan for the extension to Spring Bank Cemetery.
Over the following two years a drainage scheme was implemented across the site, paths were created, ‘planting’ took place (presumably the young trees and shrubs) and a new chapel (of rest) was planned as was an entrance lodge to house the cemetery-man (survives).
In 1888 a carriageway was created linking the ‘Old’ and ‘New’ sites (see picture above), this necessitating the removal of some graves and re-interment of the remains therein.
(To be continued).