Metropolitan Borough of Leeds
West Yorkshire England
Postal Code: LS9 7AA
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Beckett Street Cemetery was founded by an Act of Parliament secured by Leeds Town Council in 1842 and was opened in 1845. It was a pioneering venture. An alternative to the terrible overcrowding and consequent health dangers of the old parish churchyards was needed, and out-of-town cemeteries seemed the best answer.
Although several private profit-making companies had established cemeteries like Highgate in London and The Necropolis in Liverpool, it is believed that Leeds was the first Town Council to do so with money raised from the ratepayers.
Beckett Street Cemetery (then known as the Leeds Burial Ground) was opened on a 16-acre country site among the fields and brick-kilns of Burmantofts. It was divided in the usual Victorian way, with one half for Dissenters and the other half consecrated for the use of Anglicans. Each part had its own gates, lodge, chapel, staff and registers. In the early days, sheep grazed the cemetery to control the grass. The Cemetery is opposite St James Hospital, Leeds. [text added by Geoffrey Gillon]