The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 4: British Gardens (1100-1830)

English cemetary gardens

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597. Cemeteries. The practice of the Continent, in removing burial-places from towns to the country, has only recently been imitated in Britain. The first example, we believe, is that of the Necropolis of Liverpool, a parallelogram of three or four acres, laid out as a burial garden in 1825. It belongs to a public company of dissenters, who hold it in shares of 10�. each. The Mount or St. James's Cemetery, of Liverpool (figs. 198. and 199.), is one of the most extraordinary in Britain, or, perhaps, in Europe. It is formed in the bottom and sides of an immense stone quarry, the general form of which is winding and irregular. The sides are planted in some places, and hollowed out into catacombs in others. The bottom is reduced to a level, surrounded and crossed by gravel walks, with groups and clumps of shrubbery on glades of lawn. The planting is inferior in taste to the architecture of the catacombs, and of the chapel and parsonage house, by Mr. Foster; but this may have been in part for want of funds. Cemeteries have also been formed at Birmingham, Manchester, and other large towns and cities throughout England. The principal London cemeteries are those of Kensal Green, which was begun in 1834, the West London, Highgate, Abney Park, Nunhead, Tower Hamlets, and Norwood; all of which are laid out and planted with ornamental trees and shrubs, and most of them with a view to picturesque effect.