Yesterday I visited Toxteth Park Cemetery and the spooky St James Cemetery that lies beneath the Anglican Cathedral. It was bloody cold, but well worth it considering I was with the new love of my life Mark who was doing photography for the first time.
Toxteth Park Cemetery is a huge municipal cemetery that was first opened in 1856, with the first interment dating back to 17th June 1856. The Liverpool Town Council (Liverpool wasn’t a city until 1888) had to act fast due to the death rate increasing from diseases like Typhus and Cholerea. During the Irish famine of 1845, Liverpool thanks to the newly created Albert Dock, saw an influx of people on a scale never seen before. Unfortunately, the majority of people in Liverpool were poor and it wasn’t uncommon to see five or six families sharing a one bedroom house. Over crowding, lack of sanitation and dirty water lead to these diseases spreading like wild fire.
Toxteth Park Cemetery Photographs
St James Cemetery, Liverpool
St James Cemetery in Liverpool was a private cemetery opened in 1829 to alleviate the overcrowding of local churchyards. In 1826, a young architect John Foster Jr was commissioned to design and lay out a cemetery along the lines as Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. Prior to the cemetery it was a stone quarry that began in the 16th century. The tunnels you see in this cemetery are mostly blocked, but these are believed to be 18th century. The natural spring that still flows today, was found by quarry workers in 1773. The stone quarry was exhausted in 1825.
The cemetery was closed in 1936 following 57,774 burials. Subsequently the cemetery fell into disrepair and eventually the cemetery was turned into the park you see today in 1972 after clearing the vast majority of gravestones. Lots of these headstones line the park, but a few monuments can still be seen.
For other photographs of St James Cemetery and for an explanation as to why I find it spooky, please click here to read my article, Spooky Cemeteries.