1st May, 2019 History of Hull Cemeteries 22.

The history of Hull’s Eastern Cemetery, beside Preston Road, being an inter-war development has not yet been covered by my research. The site is very well kept with a main carriageway from the mail gates to the two chapels complex seen above, and a rectangular network of paths radiating from either side. The ‘planting’ (s.p.b.s) examples the more restrained attitude towards this aspect of municipal cemeteries in the 20th century, although the avenue of ornamental trees beside the carriageway (see above) and further trees planted, mostly around the periphery, as well as the installation of a number of benches results in the site retaining a sense of ‘public resort’.

In the centre of the two chapel complex, built in 1931 and designed by the then City Architect, is a small open-air courtyard (‘trapezoidal cloister’), accessible when the building is open as is the porch (although not the chapels). On entering for the first time the novelty of the building’s arrangement is striking.

The chapel complex is Grade 11 listed by Historic England. The website posting of listed buildings can be a valuable source of information if the building cannot be accessed. The ‘site’ describes the exterior and interior in very precise architectural language. To make the point some phrases relating to the building are recorded here;

  • ‘brick with limestone banding’,
  • ‘striped neo-Romanesque style’,
  • ground plan is ‘abstracted butterfly plan with symmetrical chapels aligned with the main approach drive through the cemetery’,
  • ‘each chapel has a central nave lit by clerestorey windows and flanked by side aisles’,
  • ‘mainly red brick built in Flemish Stretcher bond with tapered stretchers forming round headed openings’.

All very clear when one is at the site.

The main entrance and porch faces the drive and set in the porch is an ornate memorial dedicated to the 62 men associated with The British Gas Light Co. Ltd. who were killed in the Great War.

(To be continued).