Hartshill Cemetery (reflecting the values of Victorian Society)





The Staffordshire Advertiser, 8th November 1884

Yesterday (Friday) afternoon the Bishop of Lichfield visited the new cemetery, between Hartshill and Penkhull, provided by the Corporation of Stoke, and performed the rite of consecration of the portion allotted to the members of the Church of England. 

The weather during the ceremony was favourable, a numerous assembly of the public being present. The Bishop was accompanied by the Ven. Archdeacon Sir L. T. Stamer () and a number of the local clergy, Mr. H. C. Hodson, registrar of the diocese; the Mayor of Stoke, and most of the members of the Corporation and borough officials being also present. The office appointed for use in the diocese on such occasions was adopted, the Bishop, clergy, and surpliced choir of the parish church perambulation the burial ground repeating appropriate Psalms and singing the hymn "Brief life is here our portion." 

On arriving at the chapel set apart for the use of the Church of England, the remainder of the service was gone through and the Bishop delivered an appropriate address. we have previously given details relating to the establishment of the cemetery, the necessity for which has arisen through the churchyards of Stoke and the additional burial ground acquired by the parish authorities, as well as the churchyards of Hartshill, Penkhull, and Trent Vale, becoming filled. The site is in front of the North Staffordshire Infirmary, occupying about 21 acres of open, pleasantly-wooded land between Hartshill and Penkhull. The situation was fixed upon by the Corporation as the most desirable of several sites which were offered, and the only drawback is its distance from the central portions of the borough. This, however, was a circumstance which could not be avoided, and as a compensating advantage the naturally pleasing situation of the ground may be mentioned. 

The cemetery has been drained and laid out in excellent taste by Messrs Mimer & Son, of London, the ex-Mayor of Stoke (Mr C.M. Campbell ) having generously aided the work of beautifying the cemetery grounds by a donation of 500. It is intended to make the cemetery a bright, attractive spot, and doubtless it will in a short time become not only the resting-place of the dead but a healthful and quiet resort of the townspeople. The approach to the ground has been greatly improved by the formation of a new road. the chapels are erected at about 100 yds from the new Queens road, between Hartshill and Penkhull, and are placed in the middle of the ground north and south. 

The 2 chapels are alike in every respect, and are connected by a covered arcade, in the centre of which provision is made for the heating apparatus and for stoves. The chapels are cruciform on plan with an apsidal end. They measure 44 ft. in length and 18 ft. in width north and south, and 36 ft by 18 ft across the transepts. The crossing of the main body of the chapels with the transepts is carried up into a tower forming a lantern in the centre of the building, which is principally lighted from large widows in this lantern. The central towers are crowned by spires. Each chapel has a vestry with circular end communicating internally with the apsidal end of the chapel. The corridors connecting the chapels afford covered accommodation for hearse or other vehicle. There are three doorways to each chapel, one in each end of the several wings, affording easy ingress and egress in any direction to the grounds. The accommodation in each chapel is for 100 sittings, together with ample passages connecting the several doorways. The style in which the buildings are erected is what may be called round-arch Gothic, and was chosen principally in consideration of the special materials manufactured within the borough. The whole of the walls and the spires are of bricks made in the borough. In the dressings of doors and windows moulded bricks and cornices have been used to a great extent. The only stone-work employed has been in the inner portions of the windows and the doorways and archways. The floors are laid with wood blocks on the sites of the seats and with flooring tiles (given by Mr John Campbell) under the lantern and in the passages. The roofs are open-timbered throughout and the walls are plastered, excepting in the upper part of the lantern of the tower. The glazing throughout is in tinted cathederal glass, in designs specially prepared. The whole of the interior has been finished in colour with a small amount of decorative work. The chapels and vestries are heated by hot-water pipes, and chairs are provided as seating. 

A house and office for the registrar and a house for the sexton, and boundary walling, with gates and palisades, were included in one contract with the chapels. the total cost has been about 4,000. Mr R Bradbury was the general contractor; Messrs Deane and Lowe, Mr Thomas Walklate, Mr Steele, and Mr Samuel Peake have carried out the work. Messrs Lynam and Rickman, Stoke-upon-Trent, have been the architects.

The Staffordshire Advertiser, 8 November 1884


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