Cremation may have been a method of disposing of dead bodies for thousands of years, but it has only available in Liverpool since the end of the 19th Century. It is also only in recent decades that dedicated plots in cemeteries for cremated remains have been available.
Although common among the Ancient Greeks and Romans, by the 5th Century AD cremation was virtually unheard of in Europe as Christianity sought to do away with their rituals. It even carried the death penalty some countries, but would also be used as a way of punishing heretics.
It was not until the 1870s that physicians, concerned about poor sanitation in a rapidly increasing population, began to call for cremation to be legalised. In 1873 at the Congress of Vienna Professor Brunetti of Padua displayed his cremation apparatus and ashes and the following year the Cremation society of Great Britain was formed.
The first legal cremation in the United Kingdom took place in March 1885 in Woking, although there were only two more there that year and ten in 1886. Further crematoriums opened in Manchester in 1892 and Glasgow in 1895.
Designed by James Rhind, the crematorium at Liverpool’s Anfield Cemetery was the fourth in the country. It was opened by Frederick Stanley the Earl of Derby in September 1896. The first resident manager was William Sargeant who placed advertisements in the local press inviting people to inspect the premises for a payment of 6d. It is now a Grade II listed building and has one chapel.
A second crematorium in the city at Springwood in Allerton opened in 1975. Set within landscaped gardens, it has two chapels meaning up to four cremations an hour can be carried out.
When a loved one is cremated it is common to have the ashes scattered at a favourite place, such as a football ground or river. However it is also an option to inter the remains in a cemetery. At Anfield Cemetery a niche space can be purchased in a colonnade wall which was added in 1951, replacing a columbarium that had been in a crypt underneath the crematorium. Up to two wooden caskets of cremated remains can be placed in the niche and a memorial plaque and if desired a photograph can then be placed over it. The cremated remains will stay for five or ten years, with the option to extend this time period for a fee. Anfield Cemetery also contains a book of remembrance, where a permanent handwritten entry accompanied by a motif painted by a craftsman can be made.
Both Anfield and Springwood have memorial rose gardens, where ashes can be scattered and a memorial plaque with black lettering on a gold background added to an existing rose. This is available for extendable five year periods, as are memorial plaques mounted onto the wall of the Book of Remembrance Room or Garden of Remembrance.
Springwood Crematorium has a dedicated Baby Garden, where plaques can be added to a memorial wall. These come with a decorative motif and are available for a period of five years, with the option to purchase another five. Each plaque is displayed for a five year period. A further five years may be purchased upon expiry, but if a further five year period is not purchased the plaque will be removed from display and given to the family if desired.
Anfield, Allerton, Kirkdale cemeteries have plots available purely for the burial of cremated remains, which can accommodate a maximum of four urns and be leased for up to 75 years. Sarsfield has a range memorial and tablet options, although they can be no greater in height than three feet six inches.
Sarsfield Memorials provides a range of memorials for cremated remains in Liverpool’s cemeteries, from tablets and plaques to headstones, but not rose garden plaques which are council made. Examples can be viewed here and please contact us to discuss further and a no obligation quotation.