St Peter’s Church Woolton, Liverpool is visited by scores of Beatles fans every day to see the grave of Eleanor Rigby. It is also the final resting place of former Liverpool FC manager Bob Paisley, the only British boss to win three European Cups. In addition to these two notable interments, there are many more worth paying respects to as well.
The original St Peter’s Church was built in 1826 using sandstone from a local quarry. It sat 200 but by the 1880s it was far too small for the growing Woolton population. The new 500 capacity church was opened in October 1887 and its ninety feet tower is the highest point in Liverpool.
The grave that most people come to see is that of Eleanor Rigby, who died in 1939 at the age of 44 in the same house in which she was born in nearby Vale Road. Eleanor was a hospital worker and the granddaughter of a local stonemason. When asked in 1984 if the gravestone was an inspiration for the Beatles song of the same name, Paul McCartney responded that it wasn’t, but as he had cut through the cemetery many times with John Lennon it may well have been in his subconscious.
Bob Paisley’s grave is a very humble one, containing the inscription ‘He remained an ordinary man amid extraordinary achievements’. Paisley died of Alzheimer’s Disease in 1996 and buried alongside him is his devoted wife Jessie, who passed away in 2012. Paisley’s son Graham is the present verger of the church.
In the far left corner of the older section of the churchyard is the grave of a hero from the Crimean War. William Sewell suffered a serious head wound during the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava in 1854 and was medically discharged from the army aged just 23. He took a job as a coachman for the Earle family and remained with them for forty years, working for them at Spekelands in Edge Hill and then Allerton Hall. Sewell, who was living in Rose Lane when he died in 1910, is buried in the grave alongside his wife two of his three children.
Members of Sewell’s employers, the Earle family are buried in St Peters Church Woolton too. Sir Hardman Earle, who died aged 84 in 1877, was a director of the London & North Western Railway Company and Justice of the Peace. His eldest son Sir Thomas Earle was Mayor of Liverpool in 1853. He died in 1900 at the age of 77 and was also buried in the churchyard. The Earle family seat, Allerton Hall, is now a pub and restaurant.
Around three quarters of funerals in the United Kingdom nowadays involve a cremation rather than burial. This compares to just a third sixty years ago. However, along with this move towards cremation, there is also an increasing trend for families to inter their loved ones ashes rather than have them scattered at a favourite spot.
It is now common in cemeteries to see whole sections that are only for cemated remains. Unlike with regular burials, urns can be interred at any time after death so families have time on their side to decide on what is the right option. There is no reason either why some ashes cannot be scattered at a special place, with the remainder being interred in a cemetery. By adding a memorial, it provides somewhere permanent to visit and place flowers and have moments of reflection.
Quite often families have scattered but purchase a colonnade niche as somewhere to go and remember them. At Anfield Cemetery for example, colonnade niches can be bought where a memorial plaque can be placed, behind which caskets can also be stored if the family wishes.
In the longer run, buying a plot for the interment of cremated remains can be cheaper than colonnade niches that can often be seen at crematoria. The niches have to be renewed every five however at the cost of £229 (as at August 2018), or every ten years for £456. When you compare that to the cost of £632 for a cremated remains plot that is yours for 75 years, in which up to four urns can be interred, the niches are only cheaper in the shorter term.
Cremated remains plots are not limited to just having a simple headstone installed as a memorial, although its height is restricted to three feet six inches. They retain the scope to have kerbsets and ornaments too and if you are transferring to a plot from a colonnade niche, the original plaque can be added to it if you wish.This provides a spot to reflect with family members inscribed onto a headstone even if the ashes are no interred there.
Three of Liverpool City Council’s six cemeteries – Allerton Anfield and Kirkdale, offer plots that are solely for cremated remains. They provide a place where you can remember your loved one that you can develop to your specifications within their guidelines, that is also of low maintenance. Sarsfield Memorials provide a range of memorial options for cremated remains plot. If you are considering such a memorial, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements and provide a free no obligation quote.