Friends of Beckett Street Cemetery

Uncovering histories, caring for the cemetery, shaping future legacies.



Surprising Lives

Beckett Street Cemetery, far from being a grim reminder of death, gives a fascinating glimpse into the life of Victorian Leeds. Its stone memorials mirror the rigid class structure of the times and the divisions between the Established and Nonconformist Churches; they tell us how are forebears earned their living and reveals acts of bravery and tragic accidents.

This booklet is designed to help you get the most out of a short visit to the cemetery in conjunction with a visit to the Thackray Museum. It highlights just a few of the memorials, but there will be others you will no doubt be diverted by along the way.

Beckett Street Cemetery, also referred to as Burmantofts Cemetery, is a historic burial ground located in Burmantofts, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. Established in 1842 and officially inaugurated in 1845, it holds significance as one of England's earliest municipal cemeteries, with Hunslet Cemetery in Leeds opening just a month prior. While no longer accepting interments since 2001, the cemetery welcomes visitors and boasts two listed structures in addition to its own designation as a listed park.



To Prove I'm Not Forgot

With the growth of English cities during the Industrial Revolution came a booming population too vast for churchyards. Beckett Street Cemetery in Leeds was to become the first municipal Cemetery in the country. This study relates how the cemetary was started and run, and describes the developing feuds between denominations. The author draws upon newspaper articles, archive material and municipal records to tell the stories of many of the people who lie there, from tiny infants, soldiers and victims of crime to those who perished in the great epidemics of Victorian England. To Prove I'n Not Forgot throws new light on the occupations and pastimes of Victorian cities, and their problems with law and order, and child, education and religious provision.



Saving Cemeteries

The book contains step-by-step guidance on all aspects of setting up and running a Friends Group (indeed, it would be of value to non-cemetery related groups too) as well as useful case studies. Also helpful for established groups looking to develop activities or fund raising.

The new and revised edition of our handbook is full of advice and tips.





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