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Thread: Undercliffe Cemetery, Bradford - November 2016

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    Default Undercliffe Cemetery, Bradford - November 2016


    A trip out solely to visit Undercliffe. Seriously amazing place, and because it is still in use, there is still some maintenance going on in the majority of the cemetery. However, like Wardsend, there is a serious knotweed problem which takes out a portion of the cemetery in terms of exploration.

    Obviously, Bradford has a rich industrial history and this is evident through the cemetery and also the amazing headstones.



    Would definately recommend a visit if you have not been!

    Some history - The population of Bradford exploded in the early 19th century, with the population rising by 90,000 people in 50 years. This resulted in overcrowding in unsanitary and poor living conditions - houses were built with little regard for planning, water was contaminated and refuse was left to build up. Poor conditions in the workhouses added to the health issues, with workplace accidents common. Established graveyards were quickly becoming overcrowded.

    The Burial Act of the mid-19th century allowed Burial Boards to be set up either as independent bodies or as part of the council. Undercliffe Cemetery was one such site, set up by 13 business men. Undercliffe allowed the rich to pay for premuim sites (in churchyards, they were buried side by side) along the promenade and the centre of the cemetery, with 'company' graves being located in more remote spots.

    The original company that bought the Undercliffe site went into liquidation in 1977, with a property devleoper buying the site a few years later. Due to the deteriorating condition, Bradford MBC was put under pressure to purchase the site and Friends of Undercliffe Cemetery was formed.


    Source:- A brief history of Undercliffe Cemetery in Bradford

    Now for the pictures!







    The promenade - really takes your breath away!



















    More pictures at: Undercliffe Cemetery, Bradford -November 2016 - Album on Imgur

  2. Thanks given by: dirge, flyboys90, Hugh Jorgan, jmcjnr, Mearing, night crawler, oldscrote, prettyvacant71, Rubex, smiler, thorfrun, tony willett
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  4. #2
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    Very nice indeed.

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    I'm not too keen on cemeteries, a bit morbid but yet another side of me says that reading the headstones can reveal a lot of history on that person.
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Jorgan View Post
    I'm not too keen on cemeteries, a bit morbid but yet another side of me says that reading the headstones can reveal a lot of history on that person.
    Morbid according to whom? Current social convention? Your personal beliefs?

    When they were commissioned and built there was a very different attitude towards death, and the cemeteries were places of leisure, the elaborate graves and headstones were enjoyed and the lives of those interred were celebrated. With the recent addition of them returning to nature and becoming urban havens for wildlife, why shouldn't they be enjoyed again? I completely fail to see what's morbid about that.

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    I've seen this place before on a different site in fact some of them look to be the same, Geograph comes to mind I might add you took some great shots from the cemetery
    May the shadow of Murphy never darken your door."
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    As I have said before, these Victorian cemeteries are some of the most peaceful places I have come across and spent time in - more so when I was working than now, but always have a close look when I come across any that I have not been in before. Church graveyards are somewhat too close to the Religious aspect for me and whilst cemeteries do obviously have some form of religious underpinnings, somehow the beliefs and desirers of those buried there-in come over more vividly as I read the headstones and monuments.

    Lawnswood on the outskirts of Leeds contains one of the most beautiful, moving and telling monuments I have ever seen. A full-size, semi open Georgian front door, cast in bronze and surrounded with a section of proper stone wall-work. On the outer front step stands the bronze figure of a young wife seeing her (not seen by the viewer) husband off to his days business. The beautiful monumental work captures the last time the husband saw his wife alive - she died that very evening from the sudden onset of a fever/heart failure due to Cholera (all well documented in records). Outbreaks of this disease were endemic in the slums of Leeds, but rare in the houses of the rich - this beautiful monument brings home very starkly today that wealth was certainly no guarantor of health and a long life

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirus_Strictus View Post
    As I have said before, these Victorian cemeteries are some of the most peaceful places I have come across and spent time in - more so when I was working than now, but always have a close look when I come across any that I have not been in before. Church graveyards are somewhat too close to the Religious aspect for me and whilst cemeteries do obviously have some form of religious underpinnings, somehow the beliefs and desirers of those buried there-in come over more vividly as I read the headstones and monuments.

    Lawnswood on the outskirts of Leeds contains one of the most beautiful, moving and telling monuments I have ever seen. A full-size, semi open Georgian front door, cast in bronze and surrounded with a section of proper stone wall-work. On the outer front step stands the bronze figure of a young wife seeing her (not seen by the viewer) husband off to his days business. The beautiful monumental work captures the last time the husband saw his wife alive - she died that very evening from the sudden onset of a fever/heart failure due to Cholera (all well documented in records). Outbreaks of this disease were endemic in the slums of Leeds, but rare in the houses of the rich - this beautiful monument brings home very starkly today that wealth was certainly no guarantor of health and a long life
    Completely agree - the attitude towards death was completely different and they are more sites of monumental art and there to celebrate the dead's life, rather than their death.

    I've just looked up Lawnswood - will be arranging a trip out there soon!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Jorgan View Post
    I'm not too keen on cemeteries, a bit morbid but yet another side of me says that reading the headstones can reveal a lot of history on that person.
    Cemeteries are not for everyone - I much prefer lurking around something which is considered morbid than tramping round an industrial site, each to their own.

    However, I would disagree that old Victorian cemeteries are morbid. They are beautiful places, with so much history attached. They are often places which contain some fabulous stone work, and as Krela stated, were regularly created to provide a leisure space for people to go to. People of the Victorian era knew how to mourn, and they did it by accepting it and making these places beautiful and an enjoyable place to go, somewhere where you would want to inter your loved ones.

    I would much rather see these old cemeteries brought back - I feel they are much less morbid than the accepted societal approach to burials nowadays.

    But again, each to their own! I grew up living across the road to an old cemetery and an older abandoned cemetery attached to a church - both were regular haunts and part of my childhood :)

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    i do like this...most of us will end up in one depending on how we leave lol
    ...

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