Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Sheffield History

Investigations Taking Place at Sheffield’s Mysterious Catacombs

Sheffield General Cemetery Catacombs
Sheffield General Cemetery Catacombs. Image: Sheffield City Council

Sheffield General Cemetery’s old catacombs are to be investigated after receiving National Lottery conservation and repair funding.

Sheffield General Cemetery Catacombs

19th century catacombs are to be investigated at Sheffield General Cemetery after receiving funding from the National Lottery.

The Lottery’s ‘Parks for People’ fund has helped provide resources for conservation and repair works to take place.

Specialist engineers will now inspect the internal structure of the catacombs. Detailed plans for repairs and long term conservation of the impressive feature can then be finalised.

Respectfully repairing Sheffield’s Catacombs

The investigations run very little risk of disturbing burials, however the project will be supervised by an archaeologist to ensure respect and sensitivity.

In addition to the internal investigation, an inspection will be carried out to measure the loading impact of a 1930s concrete addition to the catacombs.

“We are delighted to see this long-planned project now actively safeguarding the special heritage of Sheffield General Cemetery. The catacombs are a fascinating and unique part of Sheffield’s history, and this activity is a crucial part our conservation plans.”Cllr Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure

National Lottery Funding for Sheffield General Cemetery

The works take place thanks to National Lottery funding.

Sheffield City Council were recently awarded over £3million from the Parks for People fund. The money makes up part of a £3.75million investment in safeguarding Sheffield General Cemetery.

Works will help maintain the cemetery — including the catacombs — as a heritage asset and protect its status as a public park with good biodiversity to be enjoyed for generations.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“The National Lottery project allows us to enhance and protect one of the city’s finest historical assets and will enable more people from a wider range of communities to discover everything that makes Sheffield General Cemetery special.”Cllr Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure

Cllr Mary Lea and Project Officer Claire Watts on site at Sheffield General Cemetery catacombs
Cllr Mary Lea and Project Officer Claire Watts on site at Sheffield General Cemetery catacombs. Image: Sheffield City Council

Sheffield General Cemetery History

Originally opened in 1836, Sheffield General Cemetery was created as a response to overcrowding and inadequate conditions across the city’s cemeteries. It was one of the earliest commercial cemeteries of its type.

Originally built ‘in the countryside’ in a ‘remote and undisturbed location’, the expanding city grew around it. It is now established as a city-centre park as well as being designated a Conservation Area, Local Nature Reserve and Area of Natural History Interest.

Over 87,000 people are buried within the cemetery which is located in the Sharrow area of the city. The last burial took place in 1976.

People laid to rest here include many of the biggest figures of Sheffield’s past such as steel manufacturer Mark Firth, sweet maker George Bassett and John Cole, a founder of the city’s famous Cole Brothers department store.

Voluntary organisation and charity the Sheffield General Cemetery Trust has been formed from the earlier Friends of Sheffield General Cemetery to help conservation efforts and promotion of the location.

Directions to Sheffield General Cemetery

Sheffield General Cemetery is set back from Ecclesall Road with the River Porter running alongside that edge of the park. Opposite it is enclosed by Cemetery Road and Montague Street.

It is just a short walk from the City Centre via Cemetery Road or Ecclesall Road. From Ecclesall Road turn onto Cemetery Avenue to make your way into the park through its impressive stone gatehouse.

By bus the 4, 65, 81, 82, 83, 83a, 88 and 272 routes pass nearby. If alighting on Ecclesall Road, turn onto Cemetery Avenue to approach the park’s main gatehouse.

Car parking around the site is limited. Spaces may be found in nearby streets.

Discover the very best of the Steel City with The Sheffield Guide Newsletter!

Sign up now to receive occasional updates from The Sheffield Guide. All the latest Steel City information direct to your inbox!

Free to subscribe. No-spam guarantee. Unsubscribe at any time.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

Founder and editor of The Sheffield Guide. A lifelong Sheffielder with a local pride that lovingly crafts each and every piece created. Discover the very best of the Steel City with The Sheffield Guide.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply



You May Also Like

Sheffield History

A comprehensive history of the infamous Hole in the Road; A lost icon of 1960s subterranean urban planning. Branches of underpasses, converging into a...

Sheffield Food & Drink

A number of Sheffield pubs and restaurants are reopening on 4 July. Sadly though, some haven’t made it through the current pandemic. Several Sheffield...

Sheffield Food & Drink

Sheffield is full of many varieties of amazing independent food, but sometimes you just want a burger. Where should you go to experience the...

Sheffield Videos

If you’ve ever stood on the platforms of Sheffield train station, you probably didn’t realise that the river Sheaf is flowing just meters beneath...

Sheffield History

Before soul-less, cavernous warehouses of Toys-R-Us killed the mystique of the toy emporium, Sheffield had Redgates: the toy shop of all toy shops. The...

Sheffield History

Greasy Vera’s famous food van in Sheffield was a popular place to grab some post-drinks food, or for shift workers to grab a bite...

Sheffield History

The list of gone-but-not-forgotten nightclubs in Sheffield is huge. One of the most fondly remembered is The Limit. A huge, dark former basement club...

Sheffield Food & Drink

Sheffield City Council has issued prohibition notices to four pubs and one takeaway following breaches of COVID-19 guidelines. Four Pubs and One Takeaway Closed...