Description: North Western Gate Piers to Southampton Cemetery
Date Listed: 8 April 2008
English Heritage Building ID: 504494
OS Grid Reference: SU4127013949
OS Grid Coordinates: 441270, 113949
Latitude/Longitude: 50.9235, -1.4142
983/0/10069 HILL LANE
08-APR-08 North western gate piers to Southampton
Gate piers, mid-C19.
DESCRIPTION: The gate piers at the north west end of Southampton Old Cemetery are square-on-plan ashlar, set on a moulded stone base with snecked panels of roughly dressed stone and chamfered at the shoulder. Each pier has an octagonal top with armorial decoration displaying a shield emblazoned with a cross on each cardinal face, surmounted by an octagonal moulded cap. The cap to the right pier is missing. The gates are C20 replacements, consisting of wrought iron vertical bars with a cross hatch, iron bar decoration at their mid-point. The overall theme is medieval Gothic.
HISTORY: Southampton Old Cemetery is one of the earliest municipal cemeteries in England. The land for the cemetery was acquired from Southampton Common in 1843 by an Act of Parliament which gave the Corporation control of 15 acres. The Town Council approached the leading landscape gardener, John Claudius Loudon whose work included the cemetery at Histon in Cambridgeshire and Bath Abbey; but his design was rejected. Instead the Town Council organised a competition which was won by William Rogers, a local nurseryman. The cemetery opened in May 1846 as a ten acre site and was extended by a further five acres in 1863. A third phase was added in the early 1880s to bring the Cemetery to its present extent of 27 acres, and featured an avenue of yew trees. The Cemetery was provided with three chapels; a Church of England mortuary chapel (listed Grade II, used as a design studio in 2007), a Jewish mortuary chapel (listed Grade II, in 2007 a privately owned house) and a Nonconformist mortuary chapel (listed Grade II, in 2007 used as a storage area).
Other listed structures in the cemetery include the following: the Lodge, possibly by J and J Francis, dated 1848-1882 (listed Grade II); the main gates and gate piers, about 1880 (listed Grade II); the walls to the east side of the cemetery fronting Hill Lane, mid-C19 (listed Grade II); and, within the cemetery, the Pearce Memorial by the sculptor Richard Cockle Lucas, 1861 (listed Grade II). Southampton Cemetery is included in the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest (GD 2396). There are estimated to be approximately 116,800 burials in the cemetery.
The north west gates are thought to be part of the original extent of the cemetery and are shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1869.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The north west gate piers to Southampton Old Cemetery are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Dating to the mid-C19 (1846 or soon after), the gates and piers are relatively early in terms of muncipal cemeteries and are therefore of historic interest.
* The piers have architectural interest for their Gothic detailing and are a fitting announcement to this C19 municipal cemetery.
* The north west gate piers to Southampton Cemetery have group value with several other listed structures associated with the cemetery, and form part of a Registered landscape.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.