There are two cemeteries in Liverpool which are reserved solely for the burial of members of the Roman Catholic faith. Situated at Yew Tree in West Derby and Ford in Litherland, they are owned by the Archdiocese of Liverpool and have their own regulations which differ from those set by Liverpool city council.
By far the larger of the two Catholic cemeteries is at Ford, where over 350,000 are buried. This cemetery was opened in 1859 after Liverpool Corporation had ordered the closure of all central burial grounds. This led to Canon Newsham of St Anthony’s Church on Scotland Road being instrumental in arranging the purchase of the land for the Liverpool Catholic Burials Board. The much smaller Yew Tree cemetery was opened in 1893.
The Archdiocese has strict rules in respect of the memorials that are placed on graves in their cemeteries. The headstones must be no more than three feet six inches in height and the maximum width is three feet. Kerbsets are not allowed in either, although you may see some in Yew Tree as historically there was no grass there. This situation was eventually rectified though due to the problems with maintenance. Kerbsets may also be seen in Ford Cemetery on some of the very old graves.
Nowadays graves for new burials can only be purchased in Ford cemetery. Yew Tree cemetery only has provision for graves of cremated remains, but if you already have a plot there with additional space for a burial then this can be arranged. It is also possible for ashes to be interred in a family grave through the undertaker and the Archdiocese.
In addition to the different rules, fees at the Archdiocese owned cemeteries vary to those run by Liverpool city council. However the six council administered cemeteries do all have Catholic burial sections containing a substantial number of graves. At Allerton for instance, 20% of those buried there are Roman Catholic. This means that if your loved one is buried here you are not so restricted in your choice of memorial as at Ford or Yew Tree.
Traditionally Catholic memorials would have a carved marble statue, a Saint or a cross on the memorial. Today Catholic families often request just a Saint, Our Lady or simple cross design for the memorial. Unfortunately marble statues are not as popular due to height restrictions within the cemeteries and also the fact that marble being a soft material makes it easy to vandalise.
If you require any further information about the graves in Ford or Yew Tree cemetery please contact Ursula at Sarsfield Memorials who will be happy to help with your enquiry.