Duke Street Cemetery in Southport is the oldest of the four cemeteries that are maintained by Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council, having opened in 1866.
The cemetery is in two distinct parts. The older part, designed by landscape architect Edward Kemp, contains many elaborate Victorian memorials and there is restricted access for vehicles. The entrance is dominated by a magnificent pair of chapels with linked cloisters and a clock tower. The structure was Grade II listed in 1999 and part of it is now used as stores.
One of the most historic monuments in the cemetery is the Grade II listed Eliza Fernley memorial. Dating from the late 1880s, it commemorates fourteen crew members of the
Southport lifeboat Eliza Fernley. Along with thirteen members of the St Anne’s lifeboat, they were drowned on 9th December 1886 whilst attempting to rescue the crew of the German barque Mexico, which had ran aground off the Southport coast. The monument has carved relief depicting the lifeboat and its crew with a mountainous wave over them.
The newer part of Duke Street Cemetery is easily identifiable because there are no trees and all the memorials are of a lawn type. This is common practice throughout the country now for maintenance and safety reasons. In the mid 1990s a baby memorial garden was opened here.
There are a total of 171 Commonwealth and War Grave Commission memorials in Duke Street cemetery. There are also memorials commemorating all lives lost in both world wars. The CWGC headstones are throughout the cemetery and a screen wall commemorates those who have been buried in public graves.
Opposite the entrance to the cemetery is a builder’s yard, situated in premises that were once the home of T Robinsons Cemetery Monumental Works. This business, which has been closed for over twenty years now, was first established around 1870 and the old signage remains. An advert in the Southport Visiter in 1891 said that only the best materials were used, workmanship was guaranteed and inspections were invited.
Sarsfield Memorials are licensed to carry out work in Southport’s Duke Street Cemetery. If you would like to discuss erecting a memorial at a new or existing plot there, or renovating a headstone, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.