1st April 2019 History of Hull’s Cemeteries 8.

The picture above shows the main carriageway at Hedon Road Cemetery with the ornate main gates beside Hedon Road being behind the camera. This municipal cemetery, Hull’s first, was opened in 1875, the initial area (beside the prison) was 17 acres in extent (later expanded) and had been bought by the Corporation in 1872 for £700/acre, this plus the cost of buildings, drainage and fencing required an £18000 loan from the Public Works Loan Commissioners (government) this to be repaid (with money from the town’s rates) over 30 years at an interest rate of 4.5%. The ‘buildings’ were cemetery-man’s lodge, surviving next to the main gate, a second worker’s lodge (surviving – an unusual feature compared with later parks and cemeteries) and two chapels of rest, one for the Established Church worshipers, the other for Nonconformists. The very detailed Ordnance Survey map of Hull compiled in the 1880s shows the chapels of rest were located approximately half way down the main carriageway (see above). I am yet to find out when they were demolished.

As was always the case with 19th century municipal cemeteries part of the site was to be consecrated and reserved for deceased members of the Established Church, the remainder being earmarked for Nonconformist burials. Early in 1880 the Burial Committee were corresponding with the Archbishop of York re his consecrating of the Church of England ground at Hedon Road. On 1st September 1880 members of the Burial Committee met the Archbishop on site and the necessary ceremony was performed. However, back in 1877 it was minuted that interments in the new cemetery so far were 196 in ‘churchground’, 276 in ‘Dissenters Ground’, this presumably in anticipation of the consecration.

Also in 1877 there were lots of applications for the job of gravedigger in the ‘New Cemetery’, a Mr Rivett was appointed at 25 shillings/week.

(To be continued).