Liverpool City Council Cemeteries

Liverpool City Council administers six cemeteries at locations around the city. All of them were opened prior to the First World War, and not all of them have new grave plots available for purchase. 

Allerton Cemetery Entrance

The newest of Liverpool City Council’s cemeteries is Allerton, which opened in 1909. It was designed by the city engineer John A. Brodie, who sought to make it more welcoming, like a park, with much greenery and wide pathways. Allerton is rare in that all three of the denominational chapels are still standing, although none of them are currently in use. 

The lodge at Allerton Cemetery now home to the administrative staff of Liverpool City Council’s cemeteries and crematoria department. Please be aware though that there is no drop-in service, all enquiries are dealt with by email and telephone. 

Allerton Cemetery has new grave plots available for both regular burials and cremated remains. There is also a dedicated Muslim section as well as an area for eco-friendly woodland burials.

The only other of Liverpool City council’s cemeteries where plots can be purchased for both regular burials and cremated remains is Anfield, which opened in 1863. Of the other four cemeteries, Toxteth and Everton have new grave plots available. Kirkdale and West Derby cemeteries both have plots for cremated remains available, but burials can only be accommodated in existing graves which are not full to capacity. 

Liverpool City Council’s two crematoria are at Anfield and Springwood, which are both in very close proximity to Anfield and Allerton cemeteries respectively. Both crematoria have memorial gardens where ashes can be scattered and small memorial plaques placed for a fixed period. In addition Springwood has a dedicated baby garden and Anfield also has a columbarium where memorial caskets can be placed, renewable every five or ten years. 

A full range of Liverpool City Council’s fees and charges for their cemeteries can be downloaded here. As of February 2020, a grave plot including the right to erect a memorial costs £1040 for city residents and £2040 for non residents. The cost of replacing a memorial to an existing grave is £163 and adding inscriptions £46. Unlike many other local authorities, Liverpool still allows kerb sets in their cemeteries for a fee of £104. 

Sarsfield Memorials are licensed to work in all Liverpool City Council run cemeteries. We are Liverpool’s oldest family run monumental mason business and have been in going for over seventy years. If you would like to discuss erecting a memorial or renovating an existing one at an of Liverpool’s cemeteries or crematoria, please contact us. We will be happy to discuss your requirements and provide a free no obligation quote. 

 

Sefton Cemeteries

Sefton council, a metropolitan local authority covering north Merseyside, operates four cemeteries. Two of these are in Southport, and two in the south of the borough at Bootle and Thornton.

The oldest of the Sefton cemeteries is at Duke Street in Southport. Opened in 1866, this contains a number of imposing Victorian memorials and vehicle access is restricted in the older part. There are modern sections open to new burials however and there is also a dedicated baby memorial garden.

Sefton Cemeteries

Liverpool Road cemetery in Birkdale opened in 1903. Like Duke Street, this contains a number of elaborate memorials. The chapel, closed in the 1970s, remains an imposing feature of the cemetery which is still allows new burial plots to be purchased.

Bootle Cemetery on Linacre Lane opened in 1913. The site of the chapel, which fell into disrepair and was demolished in 2013, contains memorials to the victims of the Blitz in the Second World War. Many bodies from the churchyard of St Mary’s Chuch, which was bombed in the war, were exhumed and re-interred in Bootle Cemetery.

The opening of Thornton Garden of Rest was delayed by public inquiries, meaning that some of the earliest interments there on completion during wartime in 1940 were servicemen. The war meant that the chapel there was not completed until 1963.

Over 40,000 plots are available for purchase at the four Sefton cemeteries. These can accommodate up to four regular burials and six sets of cremated remains. Further details on purchasing a grave are available here.

Smaller plots solely for cremated remains are available at Liverpool Road and Thornton Garden of Rest. Thornton where one of Sefton’s two crematoria are situated. The other, Southport Crematorium, is on the A570 at Scarisbrick. Both crematoria have offices and a Book of Remembrance.

There are restrictions on memorial sizes at the Sefton cemeteries. However, unlike many other cemeteries, Thornton Garden of Rest continues to allow kerb sets.

Sarsfield Memorials works carries out work in all of the Sefton cemeteries. If you are interested in purchasing a memorial for a grave, or renovating an existing one, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.

 

Headstone Lettering

Once you have chosen an inscription for your memorial, you then need to decide what form the headstone lettering will take. There are traditional and modern technological options available, with the choice you make very much dependent on the material of the headstone.

guilded lettering on gravestone

Headstone lettering has the potential to last for decades or even centuries. However there are a number of factors effecting it, including what material your memorial is made from. It can be swings and roundabouts in many ways as it depends on your overall requirements. Letters will likely last longer on more durable materials such as granite, but softer materials like sandstone and limestone allow more flexibility when it comes to shaping them.

Other factors to take into account are plantation, local weather conditions and pollution. Grass and leaves rot and during this process produce chemicals that can damage the natural stone. If your memorial is made of a porous material, letters are much more prone to damage if weather is persistently wet or frosts are regular in winter. Moisture can get get behind the letters due to the crystallisation of the marble and it cause letters to lift or fall out over time.

 

For painted letters depending, on the material the paint can lift and fall away, or can just fade or discolour. As with everything left outside it will always require a certain amount of maintenance. When it comes to restoring headstone lettering, there is a temptation to buy paints online but we do not recommend this. If not primed properly, then the paint has the tendency to flake.

Sarsfield Memorials uses both traditional and modern methods when it comes to headstone lettering. On softer materials we often hand cut the lettering, especially when working on restoring older headstones, which is not something that all masons can offer. We will use machinery at other times though to v-cut the letters. For the hardest materials a sandblaster is used. This means we can give you a choice of over one hundred fonts. Often families will take our advice and expertise when it comes to style, size and finish of lettering. Once the letters have been cut, they are finished in your desired or a more traditional choice.

Raised lead lettering involves drilling small holes into the material for the letters to be adjoined to the headstone. This is an alternative and perhaps more traditional option for light granite than sandblasting. This form of lettering is very time consuming and it will reflect in the price, so is not often used today.

At Sarsfield Memorials we are happy to discuss your requirements for headstone lettering  whether it be for a new memorial or as part of a restoration. Please contact us and we will provide as much advice and assistance as possible and you are under no obligation to take up any quote offered.

 

Marble Statues For Headstones

Marble statues are an ideal complement to your loved one’s memorial. They can add peace and tranquility, yet still reflect their character in ways photoplaque images may be unable to.

marble statues

Made out of strong material that doesn’t succumb to inclement weather so easily, marble statues enhance a memorial for a long time. They are usually, but not always, religious in theme. Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and angels are common, as are cherubs for children’s graves. Statues that are praying reflect the deceased being looked after in the next life, while wings signify the onward journey to Heaven.

Sometimes marble statues may be of a religious character but actually have a different meaning. Doves for example can reflect the Holy Spirit but also affection and devotion. The Virgin Mary may just reflect a mother mourning her son or daughter. Statues of saints could actually indicate a profession, such as with John the Baptist who is the patron saint of builders. Secular examples of marble statues included animals and teddy bears.

White marble statues can be added to darker coloured memorials and provide an excellent contrast between sorrow and hope. They may be affixed permanently to the top or base of the memorial, or instead free standing or as part of a kerbset. They come in all sizes, with some being just four or five inches high and weighing less than a kilo. This means they needn’t be beyond your budget. You must take into account local authority regulations for cemeteries and also bare in mind that they are unlikely to be allowed in churchyards.

Sarsfield Memorials, Merseyside’s longest running family owned monumental mason business, have a range of marble statues available. If you are interested in having one as part of a new memorial, or adding on to an existing grave, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements and give guidance with no obligation.

 

When Memorial Renovation Isn’t Worth It

Sarsfield Memorials pride ourselves on being Liverpool’s oldest family run monumental mason business. We pride ourselves on providing quality products and an excellent service. However when memorial renovation isn’t worth it, we will tell you so even though we lose business as a result.

A couple of months ago we had a query regarding the restoration of an old family monument that is well over one hundred years old. The memorial, which was much taller than average, was situated in  a churchyard under some trees, leading to staining in addition to general erosion due to weather.

graveyard on summers day

When we discussed the possibility of the memorial renovation with the church concerned, we had to be realistic with the circumstances. The Diocese does not have the funds to maintain churchyards to the standards of years gone by. This meant that due to its location in the churchyard the memorial remained prone to both weathering and staining.

Another factor that had to be taken into consideration, one that is a sad reflection of today’s times, was the fact the memorial was also situated next to the churchyard wall. Being much taller than the wall, which could be scaled even if the gates were locked, made it a potential target for vandals.

Taking all circumstances into account, we advised the family concerned that they were probably best leaving the memorial as it was. We did not want a situation whereby their memorial became stained quicker than would normally be expected, or even worse suffer some vandalism.

After giving our advice we received a lovely letter from a member of the family, thanking us for our impartiality. It appreciated our “sound and invaluable advice despite the fact that you were talking yourself out of business. I am really impressed with your excellent service and if I ever need a stonemason in the future I will not hesitate to contact or Sarsfield or recommend your company to others”.

Receiving feedback like this makes us proud to represent Sarsfield Memorials.  For us, just being Liverpool’s oldest family run monumental business isn’t enough. We also want to leave a positive impression with anybody who contacts us, irrespective of whether we go on to provide a service.

George Patterson Liverpool Manager

Earlier this month Sarsfield Memorials have erected a headstone at the previously unmarked grave of George Patterson, who managed Liverpool FC before the Second World War.

Image may contain: grass, tree, outdoor and nature

Patterson was born in Liverpool in 1887 and played semi professionally for Marine. In 1908 he joined Liverpool as an assistant secretary-manager to Tom Watson. When Watson who died suddenly in 1915 Patterson took charge of the team for the regionalised wartime competitions. On the resumption of the Football League in 1919, David Ashworth took charge of team affairs with Patterson remaining with the club as secretary.

In 1928 Matt McQueen, who succeeded Ashworth in 1923, resigned due to ill health.  Patterson replaced him as manager whilst also remaining secretary.  The eight years Patterson was in charge at Liverpool were not notable for success. The highest finish he could lead the Reds to was fourth in his first full season in charge. Most of the time was spent in mid table and after finishing nineteenth in 1936 he stepped down from the manager role, to be replaced by George Kay.

george patterson liverpool

Patterson reverted back to a sole secretarial role. After the outbreak war in September 1939 he left the club, but a connection remained as his son made some appearances for them in war competitions. Kay led Liverpool to the league title in 1946-47, with two players that had been handed their debuts by Patterson playing key roles. They were joint leading scorer Jack Balmer and midfielder Phil Taylor, who would himself go on to manage the club.

He continued to attend games as a supporter until the early 1950s when his health made it impossible. He died on 8th May 1955 aged 68 at his home in Skerries Road, which was just a goal kick away from the Anfield ground.

For many years Patterson’s grave was unmarked. After being located by the Liverpool FC Graves Association and Friends of Anfield Cemetery, funds were raised to have a new headstone made and this was put in place by Sarsfield Memorials in early July.

Huyton Cemetery

Huyton Parish Church Cemetery, to give it its full title, is the cemetery of Huyton Parish Church, also known as St Michael’s. It is situated in the Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley in Merseyside.

There has been a place of worship on the site as far back as Norman times. Although the current church building is mainly from the early 19th Century, some parts of the chancel and south arcade are up to 700 years old.

 

There are a number of older graves in the churchyard, with what is commonly known as Huyton Cemetery, entranced via Derby Road, opening in the early 1880s.

Huyton Cemetery

The most famous person interred at Huyton Cemetery is Stuart Sutcliffe, known by many as the ‘Fifth Beatle’. Sutcliffe was a bass guitarist in the group but left in 1961 to pursue an art career in Hamburg. He died there of a brain hemorrhage in April 1962 and the repatriation of his body was arranged by the group’s manager Brian Epstein. Sutcliffe’s father Charles, who died four years after his son, is also buried in the grave. He had not even been aware of the tragic death as he had been away at sea at the time.

A notable person from local business and civic life buried in Huyton Cemetery is John Stone, whose grave is just on the right as you enter. He died aged 92 in 1936 and was head of J & R Stone who operated Park Colliery in Garswood, which was in existence 1887 to 1960. He had continued working until just a few weeks before his death. Stone was a member of the Liverpool Cathedral Building Committee and donated £5000 to the fund in 1933. He served as a magistrate for forty years and was High Sheriff of Lancashire 1912-13.

Huyton Cemetery contains sixteen Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstones from both world wars. One of those is of John Simmons, a merchant seaman who spent twenty days adrift in the Atlantic Ocean after his vessel was torpedoed in 1941. After being rescued John, who lived in Knowsley Lane, died of exposure at Broadgreen Hospital.

Knowsley Council is responsible for the upkeep of Huyton Cemetery, which is very well maintained. However new grave plots are no longer available and interments are only allowed in exiting ones. All new burials within the borough now take place in Fox Lane Cemetery, Whiston.

Sarsfield Memorials is Having a Brief Break

For the first time in five years, Sarsfield Memorials has been closed for business recently. The reason for this is that Ursula Sarsfield has been taking a well earned holiday.

Ursula is the managing director of Liverpool’s oldest family run memorial business. She is the third generation to run the company, following on from her father and grandfather. While other staff craft the memorials, it is Ursula who takes the initial enquiries, visits customers at times to suit them, raises orders, processes payments, does the quality checks and completes the tax returns.

Delivering a high quality personal service is what Ursula sees as the key to ensuring the business’s survival. So much of Sarsfield’s custom comes from recommendations from people who have used the company for generations and Ursula ensures the high standards set by her father and grandfather are maintained. This means making herself available for home visits seven days a week, mornings, evenings and weekends to suit the customers needs. She aims to answer all emails within 24 hours and give quotes for work within two days.

Ursula’s ability to communicate with clarity and empathy with bereaved families at extremely difficult times in their lives is one of her best qualities. She understands their needs and can guide them as to what type of memorials work best in their circumstances. The number of thankyou cards and kind comments left on our website and social media pages is a testimony to that.

However, everybody needs a break at some point. After a hectic twelve months that has seen Ursula move home and continue working through illness, she finally took a holiday in the middle of May, leaving the phone unanswered for the first time in five years. On Tuesday 28th May though, she’ll be back and ready to ready to answer the backlog of queries and take new orders.

 

John McKenna Grave Restored

Sarsfield Memorials have recently been honoured to undertake the memorial renovation of John, McKenna, the founding fathers of Liverpool Football Club.

The world famous club was formed in 1892 by John Houlding, when he was left with a football ground but no team to play there. The previous tenants, Everton FC had left for Goodison Park after a dispute over rent levels and Ulsterman John McKenna was one of the board members who remained loyal to Houlding.

McKenna became the new club’s first secretary-manager, sharing duties with William Barclay, a former Everton manager. He used his Scottish connections to bring in a number of players from north of the border. Known as the ‘Team of Macs’, Liverpool won the Lancashire League in their first season.

In the summer of 1893 McKenna made the brave decision to apply for Football League membership and the club were elected to the Second Division. In their first season Liverpool won promotion after a play off victory over Newton Heath, later to become their fierce rivals Manchester United.

Liverpool’s first top flight season ended in relegation, but they bounced back at the first attempt. Determined not to go down again, McKenna and Barclay (the headmaster of an industrial school) stepped aside and the club appointed Tom Watson, who had won the League Championship with Sunderland. The appointment was vindicated with Liverpool winning the title in 1901 and 1906.

McKenna remained at the club in aImage result for john mckenna wikin operational capacity, becoming chairman in 1906. In 1917 he was elected as president of the Football League, a position he held until he died aged 81 in 1936. Although physically ailing by then, his brain remained razor sharp and he never forgot a name and had an amazing memory for facts. Known as ‘Honest John’ he was a very humble man and always looking to help out those in the game who had fallen on hard times.

By the time McKenna died he was a widower and he was buried with his wife Charlotte at Toxteth Park Cemetery. Over the last few decades his grave, situated in a prominent spot next to a path near the chapel, has fallen into disrepair. However, at the request of Liverpool FC, it has now been restored by Sarsfield Memorials.

The decorative urn on top of the grave had either fallen off or been vandalised and on consulting with family members it was decided not to put this back. It has instead been kept by his great grandson for safekeeping. The rest of the memorial has been restored by giving it a through clean and re-gilding the lettering. The ground around it has been levelled and re-turfed.

The restoration of the memorial has been made possible in part thanks to the work of Kieran Smith from the Liverpool FC Graves Society. He has been drawing the club’s attention to the condition of some of their former players memorials and through their museum curator Stephen Done, has been able to secure funding for the project. Photographs of the restored memorial has been widely shared on social media and been well received by Reds fans around the world.

Sarsfield Memorials Customer Feedback

In the last couple of months Sarsfield Memorials has received some really positive customer feedback in various forms. When this happens, it is a lovely feeling to know that we have helped our customers in a very difficult time of their lives.

Last month a couple sent us a lovely handwritten note after we had completed a memorial. Describing it as “absolutely perfect”  it thanked us for helping with hard decisions and concluded by saying ‘I would recommend Sarfields to anyone who needed it without doubt’. Another card received in March said “Thankyou for all you have done for me, the stone is perfect and your kindness was lovely”.

Sarsfield Memorials Customer Feedback

Just as thoughtful was a simple email from another customer which said “We are very pleased with the headstone and would highly recommend you to anyone who needs a memorial”. A lady who lives abroad emailed us to say “Even though I live in Italy you made the procedure easy for me, the final work on my parents grave is fantastic”.

As well as getting in touch directly, we also received a couple of lovely online reviews last month. On Google, one from a customer whose family headstone had been cleaned up by us said “The stone was over thirty years old and I was amazed how it looked afterwards. Ursula came to my home and organised everything. Highly recommended”. Another review, this time on Facebook, said “My daughter’s memorial is perfect. It is one of  the hardest things I have ever had to do but you made it easier. Ursula listened to all our stories and helped pick the right stone for her. I could not recommend Sarsfields enough, they are thoughtful, helpful and sympathetic”.

At Sarsfield Memorials we feel it is so kind when customers take the trouble to contact us with messages of thanks and show their appreciation for our workmanship. We pride ourselves on what we do. Although we are a business, it is most important to us to provide exemplary service to customers at a very difficult time of their lives.

Receiving messages and feedback is why Liverpool’s oldest family run monumental mason continues as we do. If you are interested in a new memorial or renovation of an existing one, please contact us. We will be happy to discuss your requirements and provide a free no obligation quote.