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History of Carlisle Cemetery

Carlisle Cemetery


The Cemetery is situated on high ground overlooking Carlisle and the Solway Plain. The Fairy Beck runs from above Morton, under the Dalston Road and through the Cemetery on its journey to the River Caldew.

The main entrance to Carlisle Cemetery is off Richardson Street, just south of the City. There are two entrances off Dalston Road.

Cemetery grounds

The grounds cover approximately 38 hectares and can be split into four distinct areas.

The old ground

This area was the first part of the cemetery to be opened in 1855 and was constructed on the site formally known as Spital Moor. It contains a wide selection of trees and wildlife together with conservation areas where very little grounds maintenance is carried out encouraging wild orchids (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)and dog tooth violets (Erythronium denis canis) to thrive together with butterflies, dragonflies and wide variety of small mammals.

There are topiary clipped yew trees (Taxus baccata) along the main drive. Very few burials take part in the Old Ground now with the exception of the infant burial site.

The new ground

Separated from the Old Ground by the Fairy Beck which runs straight through the centre of the cemetery, the New Ground accommodates more recent burials.

The banks of the Fairy Beck were highly maintained until 1996 when it was decided to return the area to nature. The banks were planted with Dog Rose (Rosa canina) and Hazel (Corylus avellana) which has given shelter to various animals species such as water voles, ducks and kingfishers. Among the wide variety of flora and fauna which can be found in the New Ground are rhododendrons and some unusual species of trees; Antarctic Beech (Nothofagus Antarctica) and the Giant Redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum).

The Woodland Burial

The Woodland Burial is the first site of its kind to be opened in the UK. Designed to provide a natural woodland style setting, it provides an alternative burial site which has a low impact on the environment. Each grave is marked by an oak tree (Quercus robur) raised and supplied by local growers. The grass areas are maintained in a similar way to the conservation areas to promote floral and faunal diversity.

There are also vast swathes of bulb planting throughout the woodland, including daffodils (Narcissus), Lent lilies (Narcissi lobularis), crocus, bluebells (Hyacinthoides non scripta) and snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) together with foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea) and cowslips (Primula veris).

There is a sandstone sheepfold, constructed to discreetly house memorial plaques for those buried in the woodland.

The Crematorium Gardens

The main garden is immediately behind the crematorium building and chapel and is locally known as the 'Peace Garden'. The flower beds are planted twice a year, with perennial flowering borders and the lawns are mown weekly.

Forming part of the Crematorium Gardens are several mature wooded areas, each with its own name. These are used for the scattering of ashes. The lawns have been planted with daffodils and bluebells.

The outer areas are made up of the 'Months of the Year Gardens' which are used for the burial of cremated remains. These are bordered by mature trees and dividing hedges, providing separate areas of peace and tranquility for quiet reflection and remembrance.

Opening Times

Winter and Spring 8am until 5pm.

Summer and Autumn 8am until 8pm.

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