A History of Sarsfield Memorials

The oldest family run monumental masons in Liverpool. Sarsfield Memorials has spanned three generations and next year we look forward to celebrating seventy years in business.

The company was founded in 1947 by James Sarsfield and the following decade he was joined by his three sons, Tony, Bernard and Terry. The youngest son Terry served an apprenticeship in 1950’s as a stonemason in Carrara in Italy and Sarsfield still has business relationships with the quarries there.

James Sarsfield passed away in 1968 and the three brothers continued the business until Tony left in 1980 and Bernard retired in 1990. Terry then ran the company until his daughter Ursula joined the business in 1997, but he remained involved and retired completely in 2007 at the age of 75. Ursula can remember as a young girl spending many a Sunday afternoon visiting cemeteries with her father as he costed jobs. Today she prides herself in dealing with all customers personally and offering a bespoke service that allows people to have a perfect lasting symbol of remembrance for their loved one.

Former St Swithins Church Croxteth

In addition to the traditional family headstones, Sarsfield has also carried out many commissions for the Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool, including the supply and fixing of altars. The first altar Sarsfield supplied was at the new church of St Swithin’s in Gillmoss in 1959, where Terry got married in October that year, the first nuptial mass to take place there. Unfortunately the church closed in 2004 but Terry and May are still going strong and this year they celebrate 57 years married.

One of the most high profile commissions was in 1996 when we supplied and fixed the black slate tomb at the final resting place of Derek Worlock, who was Archbishop of Liverpool from 1976 until his death in 1996. The tomb is situated in the Chapel of St John at Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. We have also supplied the lectern for this cathedral, which has been made out of one solid piece of curved marble. for which we have also supplied the marble lectern. We have also worked on the Martins Bank building in Water Street and the Princes crestRoad Synagogue along with many other listed buildings in the Liverpool area.

In 1998 we were asked to supply the plinth for the statue of Captain F J Walker at Liverpool’s Pier Head. Commonly known as Johnnie, Walker was the highly successful captain of a fleet that cruised the Atlantic seeking to destroy German submarines. His exploits led to him being nominated for a knighthood but he died in July 1944 of exhaustion and war weariness at the age of just 48. The statue, which depicts Walker looking out to sea, was sculpted by Tom Murphy and unveiled by the Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh

FJ Walker statue LiverpoolAlthough Ursula now manages the business Terry continues to be involved in stonemasonry despite being in his eighties. He is an honorary member and past president of the National Association of Monumental Masons (NAMM) and provides consultancy on all aspects of the industry to masons both at home and abroad. He is also the UK agent for Incimar who supply lettering equipment to the trade.

The development of the internet has seen Sarsfield now receive enquiries from far and wide. Many of these are from people who live outside of Liverpool and the United Kingdom looking to restore graves of loved ones who are buried in the city’s cemeteries. 2015 was our busiest for many years and was capped when we were approached by Quest TV over appearing in an episode of Salvage Hunters. Filming took place at our yard in Broad Green in November of that year, the episode airing on QUEST TV (Freeview 37, Sky 144, Virgin Media 172) at 9pm on 9th March 2016