Lancaster Cemetery

Lancaster Cemetery

Lancaster Cemetery

Location: Quernmore Road, Lancaster, LA1 3JT

Lancaster Cemetery opened in 1855 and is one of seven cemeteries operated by Lancaster City Council.

The total area of the cemetery is approximately 18 acres containing areas of consecrated and non-consecrated burial ground. The site is located approximately 1km east of Lancaster city centre, and is surrounded by further green space-mainly agricultural land, and Williamson Park. Located at the top of a hillside overlooking Lancaster, and boasts dramatic views of Morecambe Bay and the Lake District. Views of the former Lancaster Moor Hospital and Williamson Park can also be seen to the South of the Cemetery.

There are no further grave spaces available to reserve, however it is still a working cemetery as interments continue to take place in reserved graves.

Historic site

We are very proud that Lancaster Cemetery, the residential lodges, three chapel buildings, and Crimean war memorial are all Grade II listed. Prominent local architect Edward Paley designed the three chapel buildings and cemetery lodges. The chapels are all built of stone in Gothic Revival style, all very similar but with the Roman Catholic chapel design slightly simpler.

The chapel buildings are located at the highest point of the site. the Roman Catholic chapel is to the north, the non-denominational chapel to the east, and the Anglican chapel to the west. A stone building neighbouring the Anglican chapel was once a mortuary building.

War memorials and graves

There is a first world war memorial and a Crimean war memorial located close to the chapel buildings. The Crimea memorial was constructed in 1860 to commemorate the casualties of war, this memorial creates a dominant focal point for the cemetery, and is located close to our chapel buildings. This monument is also Grade II listed.

We are proud to manage war graves within the site. The graves are located separately throughout the site, and their memorials are beautifully maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Significant graves

Those familiar with the history of Lancaster will recognise a memorial in the name of James Williamson, otherwise known as Lord Ashton. Lord Ashton was born and raised in Lancaster - attending Lancaster Royal Grammar School - and was the son of James Williamson I who was mayor in 1864/5. He became the prominent business figure of the city in the late 1800s, managing businesses that employed much of the district’s population. Notably, Lord Ashton funded and arranged for the building of Ashton Memorial, the focal point of Williamson Park, which neighbours Lancaster Cemetery. It is rumoured that the prominent building was constructed in memory of Lord Ashton’s second wife Jessie Hulme. Lord Ashton is buried in Section F - Consecrated, with Jessie and his third wife Lady Florence Maud Whalley (Lady Ashton). Margaret Williamson - Lord Ashton’s first wife - is buried in the neighbouring grave.

Edward Graham Paley, a prominent and highly successful local architect is buried in Section E – Consecrated. Paley designed many significant buildings in the Lancaster District, notably all three of the cemetery’s chapels, both cemetery lodges, Lancaster Priory, and Lancaster Cathedral. Paley travelled from his birthplace near York to work as a pupil of Edmund Sharpe, and later became his business partner. His contribution to the community extends all across the north west of England.

Biodiversity and wildlife

There is a mixture of mature evergreen and broadleaf trees growing throughout the site.

Some areas of the cemetery have been planted with wildflower seed and allowed to grow naturally. Wildflower seed was originally planted within the historical grave pits of those graves that were no longer visibly visited or tended to. This has two benefits - providing a habitat and food source for wildlife, and creating naturally flowering greenery to improve the cemetery aesthetic.

We believe that these additions are the reason that the cemetery is a particularly good area to sight butterflies, bees, birds, and deer.

Cemetery locations

Last updated: 09 April 2019