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Description: Eastern Gate Piers to Southampton Cemetery
Date Listed: 8 April 2008
English Heritage Building ID: 504495
OS Grid Reference: SU4149313733
OS Grid Coordinates: 441493, 113733
Latitude/Longitude: 50.9216, -1.4110
983/0/10070 CEMETERY ROAD
08-APR-08 Eastern gate piers to Southampton Ceme
Gate piers, c.1880.
DESCRIPTION: The eastern gate piers of Southampton Old Cemetery are in a Gothic Revival style, of square-on-plan ashlar, set on a stone base with snecked panels of roughly dressed stone and a blind trefoil decoration at the mid-point in the front elevation. They are capped with trefoil gablets, mirroring the blind trefoil on the main body of the pier. The inner face of each pier has a rough stone pilaster where the gate is hinged and on the outer face is a short pier with gablet cap where each pier meets the cemetery wall. The gates are C20 replacments, consisting of wrought iron vertical bars with a cross hatch iron bar decoration at their mid-point, and are not of special interest.
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, but 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).
The gate piers have group value with other listed buildings in the cemetery, which 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 eastern gates are thought to be part of the third phase extension of the cemetery in the early 1880s, and are shown for the first time on the Ordnance Survey map of 1897.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The eastern gate piers to Southampton Old Cemetery are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Dating to the 1880s, the entrance piers show the development and gradual growth of the cemetery and are therefore of historic interest.
* The gate piers have architectural interest for their Gothic detailing and are a fitting announcement to this C19 municipal cemetery.
* The eastern gate piers to Southampton Old Cemetery have group value with several other listed structures associated with the cemetery, and form part of the Registered landscape.
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.