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Restoration starts at historic cemetery buildings

3:18 pm, Wednesday, 31st August 2022 - 3 months ago

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Historic buildings at Scartho Cemetery in Grimsby move a step closer to being brought back into use with restoration works starting this week.

Following the restoration of the Cemetery Gates in 2019 and first phase of conservation works to the Cemetery Chapels in 2021, the next stage of conservation works is now ready to begin.

The works will focus on the iconic Cemetery Lodge, which has been empty and semi-derelict for 15 years, as well as the Cemetery Chapels and Waiting Rooms.

The next phase of the works will ensure these buildings are watertight to halt further deterioration.

The primary focus will be on the restoration and conservation of the internal and external structure and fabric elements of the buildings including masonry, roofing, windows and doors and rainwater goods.

The buildings will then be able to dry out and acclimatise prior to the next phase of works, which will finally bring the buildings back into use after having stood semi-derelict for over 15 years.

These works come after the opening of Reflections, the new tea room in the former Crematorium Lodge.

Cllr Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for Environment and Transport at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:

“I’m very pleased to see this important works get underway.  Bringing these historically important and attractive buildings back into use is a significant next step in improving services for bereaved families.

“Once complete, the Cemetery Lodge will become the venue for our new Simple Funeral Services, which will provide an affordable funeral service for bereaved families.

“I very much look forward to seeing these striking buildings being put to good use, serving members of the community as they navigate coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.”

The works will be undertaken by Burnley based ‘UK restoration Services’ a specialist conservation contractor who previously undertook the works to the Cemetery Chapels and project managed by EQUANS.

The project will commence with the re-pointing of the Chapel spire and restoration works to the former Waiting Rooms and Gatekeeper’s Lodge will follow.

Other recent improvements include the launch of the Treasured Memories pet crematorium, the car park extension and the restoration of the Chapel and cemetery gates.

This work is part of the final stages of a five-year plan to bring the council’s heritage assets up to a reasonable state of repair and preservation.

A brief history of the buildings

Former Gatekeeper’s Lodge

Cemetery Lodge is being renovated

The Gatekeeper’s Lodge was completed in 1888 and was designed by EW Farebrother of Grimsby for Grimsby Corporation Cemetery Committee. When built, the function of the lodge was to house the cemetery warden and gatekeeper. The building was also used as an administrative centre for the cemetery, retaining records relating to deaths and burials. The last warden departed the building over 20 years ago and the building has remained vacant since. The former Gatekeeper’s Lodge is located to the south of the inner gateway entrance and forms part of the Grade II listing group with the Gateway and Chapels. The Lodge is of red brick construction, laid in an English bond with ashlar dressings, and has a stuccoed upper storey with imitation half-timbering and a roof finish of Westmoreland green slate.

Cemetery Chapels

Cemetery chapels at Scartho Cemetery

The Scartho Chapel buildings are located directly to the east of the main and the inner Gateways and provide a focal point to anyone entering the site from Scartho Road. Both buildings also form part of the Grade II listed grouping with the Cemetery Lodge and the inner gateway the Chapels were designed by EW Farebrother for Grimsby Corporation Cemetery Committee and were constructed by J Thompson Builders of Grimsby. The Chapels are in a gothic revival style and are constructed of red brick in an English bond with limestone dressings with a Westmoreland green slate roof.

Former Cemetery Waiting Rooms

Former waiting room at Scartho Cemetery in Grimsby

The Waiting Rooms and former toilet block are located to the North of the Inner Gateway and were constructed at the same time as the Lodge & Chapel Buildings in 1888. They were also designed by EW Farebrother, although the style is more modest than the other buildings. The use of red brick English bond with limestone dressings and Westmoreland green slate provides continuity of design and materials. Historically, the building would have been used as a room for mourners who were waiting for the funeral cortege to enter the cemetery, as well as providing toilet and washroom facilities for them.

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