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Elswick, St John's Cemetery
Religious Ritual and Funerary
Cemetery added to the Register of Parks and Gardens as an interesting example of a mid 19th century cemetery combining formal and informal elements in an unusual design. The cemetery opened in 1857 with buildings by Johnstone and Knowles. The 20 acres of land was bought from Richard Grainger. The foundation stone was laid in 1856. 334 square metres was sold as a Jewish Burial Ground. By 1899 the cemetery was filling up fast and it was proposed to extend the cemetery, including the Jewish Burial Ground, to the west. The wall separating the main cemetery from the western extension was removed in 1901. The chapel in the Jewish burial area no longer survives. The cemetery boundary is marked by a high stone wall topped by 19th century and 20th century railings. The small Jewish burial ground to the west, and late 19th century/early 20th century extension lie outside the registered area. In the south-west area of the cemetery is a small knoll named Miser Hill. The principal entrance on Elswick Road, comprising of a carriage entrance below a Tudor-style arch is listed grade 2. To the east and west of the entrance are two stone lodges, also listed grade 2. The western chapel is Church of England, the eastern one Nonconformist. There are two more carriage entrances at the south east and east from West View. Some 70 metres south-west of the chapels is the Mather Tomb of 1870. This gothic style monument with arched sandstone and pink and grey granite canopy containing two chest tombs, is listed grade 2. The Mathers were a poor family who nursed a wealthy stranger to health, and eventually inherited his fortune. Many prominent businesspeople, victims of shipwrecks and memebers of the theatrical profession are buried here. The greatest concentration of large imposing monuments are on Miser Hill and adjacent to the chapels. REGISTERED HISTORIC PARK.
<< HER 5285 >> English Heritage, 2003, Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest, GD3557 1855, The Builder, 645, 16 June 1855, p 286 1855, The Builder, 646, 23 June 1855, p 298 1855, The Builder, 647, 7 July 1855, p 317 1899, Elswick, Arthur's Hill and Cruddas Park, miscellaneous articles, vol 1, 27 March 1899, p 90, Newcastle Library Local Studies 1899, Elswick, Arthur's Hill and Cruddas Park, miscellaneous articles, vol 1, 20 June 1901 and 27 July 1901, p 98, Newcastle Library Local Studies C Brooks, 1989, Mortal Remains, p 52 N. Pevsner and I. Richmond, second edition revised by G. McCombie, P. Ryder and H. Welfare, 1992, Buildings of England: Northumberland, second edition, p 514 1st edition Ordnance Survey map, 1864 3rd edition Ordnance Survey map, 1919 1856, St John's, Westgate and Elswick Burial Board, Minutes 1856-1864, Tyne and Wear Archive Service, BB/JWE/1/2; English Heritage, Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest, Ref. 1754, edited December 2009; Alan Morgan, 2004, Beyond the Grave - Exploring Newcastle's Burial Grounds, pp 37-56