Nottingham Unitary Authority
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Nottingham Church Cemetery contains 79 scattered burials of the First World War and 20 from the Second World War.
The Church Cemetery was first opened in 1856 and is referred to as The Rock Cemetery by local people because of the sandstone rocks and caves on which it is built. It is considered to be by far the most attractive cemetery. Situated on the junction of Forest Road and Mansfield Road, the cemetery adjoins the Forest Recreation Ground which once formed the start of the great Sherwood Forest of the Robin Hood tales. The cemetery itself covers about 13 acres of land and the entrance is about a mile from the city centre, on the main Mansfield Road, just opposite St. Andrew's Church.
There are no natural caves in Nottingham. All were dug out at some time or another for a purpose. Those in the vicinity of the Rock Cemetery were once part of a sand mine. People used sand in those days mainly for spreading on their floors, but it is understood that in this particular mine, they also excavated a very fine sand which was used as an abrasive cleaning agent. The tunnels, caverns and natural sandstone rock formations give this cemetery it's unique layout and interest.
The public gallows were originally where St. Andrew's Church is now, but when the foundations were being dug for the church, they were moved across the road to near where the entrance to the cemetery is now. The last public execution took place there on 2nd April 1827 when 45 year old William Wells was hanged for robbery.
By the mid 1800s those church yards and burial grounds which still existed in Nottingham, were about full to capacity and the idea of the Church Cemetery was born. Four acres of 'town land' were allocated by the Enclosure Commissioners and a further nine acres of 'company land' was purchased by the Church Cemetery Company, which was registered in 1851.
The first interment in the Church Cemetery was on 20 June 1856 when a local school master, Samuel Taylor, had his 10 month old son buried in 'town land'. 1 shilling and 6 pence was paid to the vicar and 6 pence paid to the Clerk of the Cemetery. Three days later John Milnes, a 40 year old bleacher from Basford, was buried in a vault on 'company land' at a cost of 10 guineas. There are now over 43,000 souls buried in almost 14,000 graves.[text by Geoffrey Gillon]