City Road Cemetery - Sheffield

"Quis tali fundo tempret a lachymie" - Who could look upon this place and not weep (Anon)

Whilst researching my family history, I found that there were a number of my ancestors and their families buried in City Road Cemetery. The cemetery also features in a number of the articles on this site, most notably The Murders at White Croft 1884

The Times dated 22nd September 1877 gave the following report

A NEW CEMETERY AT SHEFFIELD - the Burial Board of Sheffield township has just arranged for the purchase from the Dike of Norfolk of a piece of ground 50 acres in extent for the purposes of a cemetery. Hitherto the ratepayers have been without any burial ground of their own, and there is no more than 25 acres available for common graves at the present moment for the whole borough, although the population is estimated at 300,000. The proposed site is a short distance from Norfolk-park and besides commanding a good view of the town, is only a mile and a quarter from the parish church. It is pleasantly situated on an elevation, and it is intended to lay out the grounds with some pretensions to beauty. The cost of the land is £15,000, and the chapels and the other buildings and the necessary alterations to the grounds will entail an additional outlay of £13,000. On Tuesday evening the ratepayers adopted the scheme, and sanctioned the borrowing of £30,000 for 30 years.

The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 19th September 1877 had a far more detailed report of the meeting. Mr. Batty Langley who was voted to the Chair by the "moderate attendance" gave an rather damming review of the state of the burial grounds in the Townships before proceeding to the business in hand.


Nearly four years later, The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 26th May 1881 gave a an excellent account of the formal opening of the Cemetery


Kelly's Directory of 1883 gives some additional details

"Intake Road cemetery extending from Intake Road, (renamed City Road in 1898) up the hill towards Manor Lodge, and opened 26th May 1881 at a cost including buildings of about £50,000, consists of fifty acres of land, purchased by the Sheffield Burial Board from the Duke of Norfolk, for a sum of £13,625 and is intended for the joint use of members of Church of England, Non - Comformists, and Catholics At the principle entrance from the Intake Road is a tower 120 ft high containing a clock with chimes There are two chapels of stone, in the Tudor Gothic style from designs by Mssrs. M E Hadfield, and son, architects The cemetery includes a porters lodge and waiting rooms and is surrounded by a wall seven ft. high


The first burial to take place in the cemetery was of a young boy named Emmanuel Reid on 27th May 1881.

Reid, Emmanuel (child, age 1). Died at 46 Duke St, Park; Buried on May 27, 1881 in Unconsecrated ground; Grave Number 11170, Section AA

According to the information on Council's website, "the first cremation at City Road took place on 24th April 1905.  The newly completed crematorium was only the tenth to be built in the UK.  The service in remembrance of Eliza Hawley from Upperthorpe, Sheffield was attended not only by her family but by many other interested parties.  The Town Clerk, the architect that designed the crematorium and even Mrs Hawley’s medical attendant came.   It was reported that the service took 90 minutes to complete.   Following the cremation, Mrs Hawley’s remains were placed in a niche in the 'columbarium', where they remain to this day".  

But the actual opening of the Crematorium took place on 5th April 1905. A report in the Manchester Guardian dated 6th April 1905 covered the event

The Cemetery is divided into sections - see map, some of which are designated

Sections V1 -V5 hold many baby communal graves known as Common Graves
Section U is predominantly graves for the very young
Section Q is generally the area where ashes are scattered
Roman Catholic sections of the Cemetery are HH, GG, KK, LL, FF, FF1 & R6
Around many of the Section perimeters are unmarked graves usually known as "Margin or Marginal Graves" The plot or grave number/s of these "Margin" graves can vary considerably to the number of the actual section plot or grave number/s. Margin graves can hold several occupants, none of whom may be related"


1. It now covers one hundred acres, and is the largest cemetery owned by Sheffield City Council.

2. Emmanuel Reid's family - 1881 Census. Other members of the family are also buried in the Cemetery

Household:Source Information:
Dwelling 46 Duke Street Census Place Sheffield, York, England
Family History Library Film 1342125 Public Records Office Reference RG11 Piece / Folio 4654 / 114 Page Number 28

Name Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation Disability
Thomas REID Head M Male 41 East Leak, Nottingham, England Autioneer & Valuer
Jemmima REID Wife M Female 41 East Leak, Nottingham, England
Mary A.E. REID daughter U Female 20 Eastening, Nottingham, England
Albert E. REID Son U Male 17 Colne Bridge, York, England Valuer
Sarah E.C. REID daughter U Female 19 Brodley, York, England Cigar Maker
Harriet REID daughter U Female 15 Leeds, York, England Scholar
Thomas REID Son Male 12 Myton Harewood Scholar
Ellen REID daughter Female 9 Handworth Woodhouse Scholar
Daniel J.E.W.F.C. REID Son Male 6 Handworth Woodhouse Scholar
Edley REID Son Male 5 Handworth Woodhouse Scholar
Edith REID daughter Female 3 Handworth Woodhouse Scholar
Manuel REID Son Male 1 Sheffield Scholar
Robert H. ALLEN Nephew Male 15 Sheffield Apprentice Auctioneer
Jemmima REID daughter Female 10 Nottingham, Nottingham, England Scholar

3.. Between April - November 1905 , only six cremations were carried out. It was not until 1918 that the number of people choosing to be cremated increased, with more than fifty that year. Currently there are about 1,600 cremations every year at City Road.

4.. By September 2005 almost 163,000 people had been buried within the cemetery occupying over 20,000 graves; some having as many as 8 or 9 bodies in them.  In addition, over 190,000 cremations had taken place.
5. Other Cemetery's in Sheffield that are owned by the Council are

Abbey Lane Cemetery (1916) Abbey Lane, Sheffield
Beighton Cemetery (1930) School Lane, Beighton, Sheffield
Burncross Cemetery (1877) Bumcross Road, Sheffield
Burngreave Cemetery (1859) Melrose Road, Sheffield
Crookes Cemetery (1906) Headland Road, Sheffield
Darnall Cemetery (1888) Coventry Road, Sheffield
Ecclesfield Cemetery (1920) Priory Road, Sheffield
Handsworth Cemetery (1901) Orgreave Lane, Sheffield
Intake Cemetery (1880) Mansfield Road, Sheffield
Norton Cemetery (1913) Derbyshire Lane, Sheffield
Shiregreen Cemetery (1927) Shiregreen Lane, Sheffield
Stocksbridge Cemetery (1947) Bole Hill Lane, Sheffield
Tinsley Park Cemetery (1882) Barleywood Road, Sheffield
Wisewood Cemetery (1933) Loxley Road, Sheffield
Woodhouse Cemetery (1879) Stradbroke Road, Sheffield
6. A Final Thought -
Transcribed from the 1 Nov 1849 issue of The Lurgan, Portadown and Banbridge Advertiser

The Grave-Stone.--'It is useless to puzzle yourself any longer over what is utterly illegible; the letters are worn past all hope of deciphering a single sentence. Come away.' And thus ends the last effort of poor humanity to perpetuate its cherished sorrows, or to display its pompous boasting, in the sight of posterity.

That old, mossy stone, with its half-shadow of a cherub's face peeping out from the broken outline of a pair of wings ; its green and yellow patches of corroded surface, where the long inscription once appeared ; and its slanting position, bending forward while it sinks sideways into the soil, that is the sole surviving memento of--what? It is a memento, for it says 'Remember;' but who or what is to be remembered by, it, all the wit of all earth's wise ones cannot discover.

Nay, though, right under the cherub's chin, we may trace the course of the 'His jacet,' by knowing where it should stand, still no more is communicated than the bare existence [sic] of such a table in that place must make known. It is a gave [sic]--its inmate has long tenanted the silent dwelling : and here our information ceases. Is it, then, idle and vain so to mark a spot, endeared, perhaps, to some fond breast far beyond all that the residue of the globe contains? No ; it is comely and befitting our nature so to do ; though I look on the practise not as a mere natural impulse, but as one among the multitude of un-regarded evidences afforded of the doctrine of the resurrection, as having been revealed to man from the earliest period. We find the [sic] are not only of sepulchre, but of preserving the human body itself after death,
carried to a pitch of perfection at which modern science can only gaze and wonder, when unrolling from its delicate wrappers the corpse of two or three thousand years' unchanged existences [sic]. It seems to bespeak a thorough conviction that the spirit would reanimate its earthly tenement, but with a total ignorance or mistrust of the Power that could gather up the scattered dust and say,
'Lost in earth, in air, or main.
Kindred atoms meet again.'


The Times, Sep 22, 1877; pg. 6; Issue 29054; - A New Cemetery At Sheffield.- The Burial

The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 26th May 1881

The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 19th September 1877

Kelly's Directory of 1883

Manchester Guardian dated 6th April 1905

The Sheffield Indexers

Plan of the Cemetery

Sheffield City Council

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This page was last updated on 18/02/23 16:18