Bishopwearmouth Cemetery

Bishopwearmouth Cemetery

Infobox cemetery
name = Bishopwearmouth Cemetery

imagesize = 250px
caption = Commonwealth war graves in Bishopwearmouth Cemetery
established = 1856
country = United Kingdom
location = Sunderland
coordinates = coord|54.89872|-1.42088|display=inline,title
type = Public
owner = Suunderland City Council
size = 80 acres
findagrave = []

Bishopwearmouth Cemetery is a cemetery in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England. It lies between Hylton Road and Chester Road (A183 road).


Due to the cholera epidemic of 1831 and the subsequent overcrowding of churchyards, it was decided to build new cemeteries in Sunderland after the passing of the Burial Act 1852 and 1853.cite web|url= |title=Chequered 150-year history of Wearside resting places |publisher=Sunderland Echo |date=2006-07-18 |accessdate=2008-08-06] The 34 acres chosen for Bishopwearmouth Cemetery lay on the edge of the county and parliamentary boundary of Sunderland and was glebe land, owned by the Parish of Bishopwearmouth.cite web|url= |title=Old Maps | |accessdate=2008-08-06] The land was sold by the parish for £275 (£17,839.73 in 2007) per acre and the cemetery cost £2000 (£129,743.47 in 2007) to build. [cite web|url= |title=Purchasing Power of British Pounds from 1264 to 2007 |publisher=MeasuringWorth | accessdate=2008-08-06] It opened in July 1856, on the same day as another new cemetery, Mere Knolls Cemetery, situated in Fulwell. All religious denominations were alloted separate areas and it soon became the town's main burial site. In 1891, the cemetery was extended further west and further extended in 1926. The whole site now covers 80 acres.

Jewish burials

Sunderland once had a thriving Jewish population. [cite web|url= |title=Once growing, now fading |publisher=BBC | date=2006-09-10 |accessdate=2008-08-06] In 1856, the only Jewish cemetery, at Ayres Quay in Bishopwearmouth, closed. [cite web|url= |title=Sunderland - A Litvak Community in North East England |publisher=Jon Seligman | accessdate=2008-08-06] A site at the new Bishopwearmouth Cemetery for Jewish burials was then dedicated in the north east corner of the cemetery (the first cemetery in County Durham to do so), adjacent to the Roman Catholic section. [cite web|url= |title=Sunderland Burials Available at Durham Records Online |publisher=Durham Records Online |accessdate=2008-08-06] cite web|url= |title=Cemetery Project |publisher=International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies |accessdate=2008-08-06] On the cemetery's expansion in 1926, another section was dedicated at the new western edge and on the cemetery's final expansion in 1926, the new north-west section was dedicated and a Jewish temple was built; this section is currently fenced-off from the other wards of the cemetery.

War graves

During World War I, part of Ward 3, Section A was set aside for service war burials, of which there are 237 Commonwealth burials, though more than 100 war graves are scattered elsewhere in the cemetery.cite web|url= |title=SUNDERLAND (BISHOPWEARMOUTH) CEMETERY |publisher=Commonwealth War Graves Commission |accessdate=2008-08-06] This plot was extended to accommodate some of the World War II burials, of which there are 156 Commonwealth burials; the remainder are scattered. There are also 31 non-war service burials in the cemetery and one Dutch war grave.

Listed buildings

There are nine listed buildings within Bishopwearmouth Cemetery; all are Grade II. These are:
*The gates, piers and railings at the north entrance of the east side of the cemetery. [cite web|url= |title=Listed Buildings - Number:920-1/4/125 - Description |publisher=Sunderland City Council |accessdate=2008-08-07]
*The gates, piers and railings at the south entrance of the east side of the cemetery. [cite web|url= |title=Listed Buildings - Number:920-1/4/30 - Description |publisher=Sunderland City Council |accessdate=2008-08-07]
*The north (Roman Catholic) chapel. [cite web|url= |title=Listed Buildings - Number:920-1/4/34 - Description |publisher=Sunderland City Council |accessdate=2008-08-07]
*The south (Episcopalian) chapel (vandalised) [cite web|url= |title=Listed Buildings - Number:920-1/4/33 - Description |publisher=Sunderland City Council |accessdate=2008-08-07]
*The south east lodge. [cite web|url= |title=Listed Buildings - Number:920-1/4/31 - Description |publisher=Sunderland City Council |accessdate=2008-08-07]
*The tomb of Christopher Maling Webster (1813–1890) and his family. [cite web|url= |title=Listed Buildings - Number:920-1/4/36 - Description |publisher=Sunderland City Council |accessdate=2008-08-07]
*The tomb of John Bolam (1815–1885) and his family. [cite web|url= |title=Listed Buildings - Number:920-1/4/37 - Description |publisher=Sunderland City Council |accessdate=2008-08-07]
*The tomb of Margaret Taylor (1849–1911), wife of Henneson Taylor. [cite web|url= |title=Listed Buildings - Number:920-1/4/38 - Description |publisher=Sunderland City Council |accessdate=2008-08-07]
*The tomb of members of the Vaux family. [cite web|url= |title=Listed Buildings - Number:920-1/4/35 - Description |publisher=Sunderland City Council |accessdate=2008-08-07]

The central (Nonconformist) chapel was formerly a listed building until it was demolished due to vandalism. [cite web|url= |title=Listed Buildings - Number: 920-1/4/32 - Description |publisher=Sunderland City Council |accessdate=2008-08-07] The memorial to the Victoria Hall disaster, formerly situated in the cemetery and now in Mowbray Park, is also a listed building. [cite web|url= |title=Listed Buildings - Number: 920-1/4/39 - Description |publisher=Sunderland City Council |accessdate=2008-08-07]

Notable burials

*Joseph John Binns, department store owner.
*Sir Theodore Doxford, shipbuilder and politician.
*Sir James Laing, shipbuilder.
*Sir Luke Thompson, coal merchant and politician.
*Thomas Scott Turnbull, draper and co-founder of the "Sunderland Echo".
*Joseph Wiggins, Arctic explorer.


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