Thursday, 5 May 2011

The Rock Cemetery

Officially known as Church Cemetery, but because of its location and layout, it is more commonly referred to as the Rock Cemetery. It can be found off the Mansfield Road, in the Sherwood area of Nottingham. Much has been written, and many photographs taken of this unique place. I'm adding to this list simply to encourage those that I know, who have little knowledge of Nottingham, to one day come and visit, and see for themselves. The photographs are mine, taken on my mobile phone, as I didn't want to nick any of the more professional looking ones.

The cemetery space came about as the result of the 1845 Nottingham Enclosure Act, where four acres were designated for the Church (Rock) Cemetery use - a further nine acres were added in 1851. I'm always looking for links, however tenuous, and I noticed that the cemetery was designed by Edwin Patchitt, a local solicitor and clerk to the Cemetery Company, and was opened in 1856. Edwin was born in Nottingham in 1808, and died in Hastings, East Sussex in 1888. Hastings was where I lived before moving to Nottingham last year. (I did tell you that the link was tenuous). There is a rather grand memorial to Edwin in the Rock Cemetery, but it's not clear if that is where he is actually buried. Perhaps someone knows the answer to that.

The Cemetery is unlike most cemeteries, and is wonderful because of this. The layout is determined by the sandstone rocks and old sand pits on which the Cemetery was created. It comprises four main areas; a terrace to the south with a straight promenade to the site of the Chapel; a section in the centre and north-west which is terraced and has retaining walls; the catacomb range in St Anne's Valley in the east, and the north-west corner which uses natural caves, cliffs and outcrops. The rocks are of course where it gets its name from. The site also has many trees planted throughout. My purpose here is not to give detailed descriptions of what you will find on the site, as others have done this much more professionally. I hope that the following photographs will give you a flavour of the Rock Cemetery, and encourage you to visit for the first time, or if you've seen it before, to visit it again.

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