Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Sheffield History

Wardsend Cemetery

Recommended Posts

Sheffield History

WARDSEND CEMETERY

LOCATION

Club Mill Road, Owlerton, Sheffield 6

CEMETERY PLAN

picture copyright - http://freepages.gen...y.rootsweb.com/

INFORMATION

Wardsend Cemetery has a distinct military influence due to its close proximity to Hillsborough Barracks. The obelisk monument commemorates the soldiers of 6th, 19th, 24th, 33rd, 51st, 55th Regiments of Foot, Victorian Army, who died whilst at Hillsborough Barracks during the period 1866 - 1869.

A separate grave belongs to Lieutenant George Lambert V.C., an Irishman, born in Markethill, County Armagh, in December 1819. A sergeant in the 84th Regiment (York & Lancaster Regiment), he was promoted twice �without purchase�, and was awarded his Victoria Cross for �conspicuous bravery� during the Indian Mutiny at Oonao in 1857. His death was due to �the breaking of a blood vessel� on the parade ground of Hillsborough Barracks on February 10th 1860.

There are also memorials to several soldiers who gave their lives during both world wars.

Some of the 240 victims of The Great Sheffield Flood of the night of 11th/12th of March 1864, when the Dale Dyke reservoir at Bradfield, collapsed, were laid to rest in Wardsend Cemetery, including the children of Paymaster Sergeant Foulds, Isabella, aged 5 and John, aged 3, of Hillsborough Barracks, also Mr. Joseph Goddard and his wife Sarah, of Malin Bridge.

Of the 213 bodies which were found, there were 35 which were buried without being identified. In addition to the 240 people who were drowned there were 50 horses, 38 cows, 8 donkeys, 258 pigs, 267 fowls and 72 tame rabbits allegedly lost!!

Other epitaphs of interest are dedications to a number of Bible readers, one a member of the Philadelphian Wesleyan church; the Secretary of Sheffield Angling Association; widows referred to as relicts, and a reference to a 15 year old boy tragically killed at work in a colliery accident.

Wardsend dates back as far as 1161 and was then called wereldesend.(relating to a forest clearing), by 1336 the spelling had been changed to Werlsend and by 1388 it was call Wordesent.

Wardsend House was built on this site in 1477 and stood for 400 years,before being demolished in 1957.

By 1901 there had been some 20,000 interments on the site and the new area was concecrated in 1859 by Archbishop musgrave of York.

It is said to be the only cemetry in the uk with a railway running through it.

It was also frequented by grave robbers,who sold the bodies to the medical school.

The final burial took place in 1977,when the re-internment of remains from a building site close to the Cathedral took place.

It was officialy closed in 1988.

"many of the graves close to the railway line are damaged and open" -

PICTURES

We took the following pictures on 18th February 2007

LINKS

Friends Of Wards End - www.friendsofwardsendcemetery.btck.co.uk/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sheffield History

wardsend was abused by grave robbers in the 1860-1880s as a memorial stone in hillsboro park attests,in the small organic /wildlife area the stone tells of many persons never recoverd after the desecration.. the last remaining horseman of the charge of the light brigade in the crimea was unfortunately drowned as the ship he was insank in a stormjust a small distance from docking and was buried in parkwood/wardsend cemetery and is also remembered by having the first headstone in england to have an enamelled plaque detailing his life/death details.bad luck seems to have been his middle name.

also the area was the site of a large electric generator complex like the cooling towers at meadowhall some of the MASSIVE cables can be seen on the old lane down to the dog trac.

*we are currently looking for pictures of the chapel or the buildings that used to stand here - can you help ?*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sheffield History

The Cemetery Riots At Sheffield - 1862

The Sheffield Magistrates were engaged for several hours on Saturday in investigating the extraordinary proceedings at Wardsend Cemetery, near that town. It will be remembered that on Tuesday night a large crowd of people, exasperated beyond all control by the horrible disclosures that had been made of the manner in which human remains were desecrated, broke into the sextons house and set it on fire, Mrs Howard narrowly escaping with her life.

Damage to the extent of £500 was done at the house and at the cemetery. The mob searched for the sexton, but could not find him, fortunately for him. As the news of the discoveries spread through the town the parents and relatives of many of the persons buried in the ground proceeded to the place, and numbers of them began excavating the graves in order to satisfy themselves that the remains had not been tampered with.

In several cases no trace of the coffins could be found, and this, of course, greatly increased the excitement. The most revolting discovery of all, however, was made in an unused part of the cemetery grounds, where was found a large hole, roughly covered with earth and planks, and containing about twenty coffins, and a box in which were the remains of a man who had been dissected at the Sheffield Medical School.

It was found that underneath the coffins was a mass of human remains several feet in thickness, which were alleged to have been accumulated by the throwing of dissected bodies into the hole without coffins, and the emptying of bodies from coffins removed from graves in the cemetery.

A number of coffins, and twenty four coffin plates, removed from coffins which had been placed in the ground within the last three years, were found in the stable.

The examinations of the place which were made in the course of the week disclosed such a state of things, that the Bench were loudly called upon to interfere to punish the offenders and secure the future protection of the public.

Mr. Jackson, chief constable, said he had to apply to the magistrates to aid him in the investigation of the circumstances which had notoriously occurred at Wardsend burial ground and at the sexton's house, he stated that on going to the cemetery he found in the side of the hill a large hole.

It had the appearance of having been arched, but there were boards driven in at the side to support it.

The hole had been covered with planks and earth, but this the people had removed.

He saw a square box containing what evidently were the remains of a man, as also a number of coffins, twenty inches broad and fifteen or eighteen inches deep.

By the directions of one of the magistrates he had the square box removed to the cemetery stable.

Having got another box made sufficiently large to hold the one taken from the hole, he had it and the body put into this new box and brought to the police office here.

It was a deal box, about three feet six inches long, twenty inches broad, and fifteen or eighteen inches deep. The box did not appear to have been buried.

The body had evidently been dissected, the flesh having been removed from the bones. Evidence was given to show that the body found in the box had been received from the Medical School in the ordinary way, and that an interment certificate had been given by the incumbent, although the remains had not been interred.

Mrs. Harriet Shearman was sworn, and said,--I am the wife of William Shearman, miller, Philadelphia Mill-Yard. My little boy, Edward Charles, died about eight months ago ; he was then two years and one month old. He was interred at the St. Philip's ground on the twenty third of September last.

The grave was made on the left hand side over the hill, on the lower side from the railway. I paid ten shillings for the fees of burial to the sexton, Isaac Howard. I only saw a little bit of earth put on the coffin at the time.

He told me I could have a family grave by paying a further sum of twenty two shillings within the year.

In consequence of what I heard I went up to the ground on Wednesday, a little after noon. I went to a large pit there was in the cemetery, and saw some coffins there. Some of them had the lids off, and in one of these I recognised the features of my own child.

I got it taken out of the pit with the coffin, and caused it to be taken to my own house. When I got it home I examined the coffin, and found it was the same wood. I found the piece of "bump" sheet which I had placed beneath the head of the child. I am quite sure from the features, and from this sheet, that it was my child. When I left the grave at the funeral the sexton was there.

He had the care of the grave at that time. We have another child there, or it should be there.

The hole where the body was found is about two hundred yards from the grave where we left my child. I looked into the grave, but cannot recollect whether the soil was firm or soft, as it had been previously dug. There were funerals going on in the ground at the same time. I don't know who performed the service.

My first child was interred in the ground three years ago. This child was not buried in the same grave, because we had not bought the ground. We have not looked for the coffin of the first child. Mr. Jackson.--I have other women who have similar cases to this, but they are not here today.

Robert Dixon.--I am a labourer in the service of Mr. Oxspring, of Wardsend. I know Isaac Howard, the sexton of this cemetery.

I agreed with him to go and live in his house in the graveyard. I cannot tell exactly the day of the month, but it was some time in March last. Shortly after I had gone there I observed a curious smell in the room above the stable. I thrust some knots out of the deal boards, and looked down into the stable.

We had then been there two or three weeks. I saw about twenty coffins- some of persons about fifteen and sixteen and ten years old--others were those of stillborn children. None of them appeared to be the coffins of grown up persons. I had seen Howard lock and unlock this door, and knew he had the key. The coffins were not covered over with anything, and were lying on the ground, piled in heaps on the top of each other.

I saw some broken up coffins piled in a corner by themselves--the wood appeared to be new. Those pieces are there now. The day I flitted ( last Monday ) I and several other men saw in the stone shed near the house four or five sides and lids of coffins. they were in a dark corner of the shed. Did you ever really see a body, or only coffins in the shed?

I lifted up the lid of one coffin, in the shed, about six weeks ago. The night following the body had been removed from the coffin, but the coffin remained in the shed. I lifted the lid with my toe, and saw the face of the body. It looked very fresh, as though it had been buried a week or two. It looked like the face of a boy about fifteen years of age. I looked at the coffin the same night, after Howard had set off to Sheffield. Had seen him go. He put two corpses into a box. One appeared to be ten, and the other fifteen, I saw the same coffin empty in the shed the same night.

I afterwards went and looked through the holes in the floor.

Tell the magistrates what you think you saw him doing.--

I came home earlier than usual. I thought he looked very ***** and "sheepish" in my eye. I had had suspicion of him before. I saw him go in and out of the house and go up the burial ground. I went upstairs and looked through the holes in the floor, and waited till he came back into the stable. He appeared to be cutting off the leg of a child about ten years old.

The child lay on two planks, and he had a carving knife in his hand. I saw him put the bodies into a box.

He put the lid on and went outside the door, and came in again immediately. He put the box on a barrow, and went to the river side. I saw him put two bodies into the box.

The stable is not so large as the room overhead, in which I was. The holes were large enough to admit my finger.

There is a small slide window in the top of the stable, with only four or five panes in it. I once found the stable door unlocked, about three weeks ago, and saw about twenty coffins and twenty four coffin plates. I took the plates away and gave them to Mr. Oxspring.

They are the same he has given to the chief constable. I had previously told Mr. Oxspring, and was acting under his advice in what I did.

The sexton asked me to take the house. We have had a quarrel, but were good friends before I left the house. I met him on the burying ground. I asked him if I could cultivate a bit of ground, and he consented on condition that the ground should be given up if there were any Catholic funerals.

He spoke very angrily to my wife about the place, and I wished to see him, and told him he had better take those bodies out of the coach house before he said anything to my wife. We parted good friends. I have once been in trouble for stealing some corn, four years ago, at Ellerby Hall. That is the only thing I have ever been in to my knowledge. I had married just before.

Mr. Jackson.--He was tried and sentenced to six months imprisonment.

Witness.--Mr. Oxspring and Howard have been good friends. I don't know anything about an action for impounding cattle. I told Mr. Oxspring about six weeks ago what was going on, and he advised me to go into the stable if I had an opportunity.

Bethia Dixon wife of the last witness---We went to live at the house in the graveyard on twenty-fourth of March. When we first went I noticed a peculiar smell in the room over the stable, and it got worse. I spoke to the sexton about the smell, and he said he would remove it--it would go away. The smell made me ill, and I had a miscarriage in consequence.

I have seen the porter from the Medical School go up the burial ground. He came more than once. I first saw him there on the Thursday in the second week we went to live there, which would have been on the third of April.

I told the sexton that the man had been to see him, and the man came again on the Friday morning, but he did not see the sexton. I told the sexton again, and he said he had seen him, but he (the porter) had no money for him, and until he got some money he (Howard) should not let anything else go. I have seen a man named "John" who assisted Howard, remove coffins from graves, and put them in the open shed. The sexton afterwards put them in the stable.

The men opened the graves and removed the coffins from them. These graves were not distinguished by mounds of earth.

Judging from the size of the coffins which "John" and Howard removed, I should say that they were those of children about ten or twelve. About a fortnight ago I saw Howard remove some coffins from the stable into a large pit. He took some in the day time, and towards evening he got the assistance of another man. I saw a man named Coldwell helping him. Before I was married I lived four years in service in Mr. Warhurst's of Ecclesall Road.

I never saw any other person at the pit than Howard and the two men assisting him. I never saw any funerals performed at that pit. There was one small place open, so as they could slide a coffin into it, but it could be made larger. The pit was covered with planks, and a thin layer of earth. There were planks placed against the hole when they were not using it. I remember the holes being made in the floor of the room over the stable. I looked down and saw coffins there. I have looked on several occasions when my husband has been away.

Mr. J. Barber, surgeon, was examined, and stated the manner in which bodies were obtained for the purposes of dissection at the Medical School from the workhouse. No bodies were obtained except by legitimate way.

The inquiry was then adjourned until Friday next

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest codeyes

Brilliant article..................

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sheffield History

I went to a large pit there was in the cemetery, and saw some coffins there. Some of them had the lids off, and in one of these I recognised the features of my own child.

I can't think of anything more harrowing and distressing and gut wrenchingly painful than that..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest codeyes

Me neither....Mind you, a lot of that sort of thing went on in the 1800s......and into the early 1900s as well..............Remember Burke and Hare?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sheffield History

Yeah.

I can't think of a set of deceased people who have suffered more than the ones in Wards End

It's shocking to see the place now and even worse when you consider the treatment of the residents over the years.

I hope the friends of wards end cemetary can do something about it all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sheffield History

Went back up today - there's loads more to discover there yet..

Here's a picture (large file) of a gravestone that indicates some of the sad and fascinating stories to be found in this graveyard..

Look at the ages and look at the dates - particularly the last one

Here's the inscription:

Sacred to the memory of

John, son of Aaron and Elizabeth Dearden,

who died Jan 11th 1851

Aged 6 Years

Also George, their son,

who died Sept 20th 1851

Aged 2 Years

And William, their son

who died Dec 25th 1857

Aged 2 weeks

As day succeeds to day,

So noiseless yet so sure

So passed your lives away

To where all things are pure

How sad is that story ?

Imagine losing a 2 week old child on Christmas Day ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RichardB

Very, very interesting place, has a "feel" about it ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest broncolives

On searching my own family history we have found 3 of my forbears buried there all under one year old

That was around the turn of the century legend has it that there were 6 but can't find the other 3.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RichardB

I remember those lights, weird, they lead to nowhere. Someone, quick, get a camera and record the other end of Club Mill road please, by the Farfield pub, it's got to be next on the list. ByHillfoot Bridge, also known as the Owl, ancient mill next to there, dates back to 1800 or therabouts and Corn Law Riots - Ebenezeer Elliott .. etc etc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sheffield History

Last time I went down there I was approached by a group of about 8 guys who all had guns (yes - seriously)

I had about 3000 quid's worth of camera gear in my bag and I absolutely popped my pants

I won them over with my charm and took some pics of them with their guns to keep them sweet but they were very drunk and anything could have happened there..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neddy

I remember tose lights, weird, they lead to nowhere. Someone, quick, get a camera and record the other end of Club Mill road please, by the Farfield pub, it's got to be next on the list. ByHillfoot Bridge, also known as the Owl, ancient mill next to there, dates back to 1800 or therabouts and Corn Law Riots - Ebenezeer Elliott .. etc etc

If my memory serves me right, the traffic lights used to be there in the sixties, I'm sure I remember them being put there because a couple of lorries had crashed on the bridge, there used to be a lot of lorries going to and from the power station, the factories and the tip which is now Coopers, there were a few near misses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest skyman

The first mention of the district of Wardsend occurs in a deed of 1161 in which it was called 'Wereldesend', relating to a forest clearing. In this document, the area is referred to by it's original name, indicating its position of being at the periphery of an inhabited region. By 1366, the spelling had changed to 'Werlsend' and by 1388 it was called 'Wordesent'. In Harrison's Survey of Sheffield in 1637, a William Wood paid £38-0-0d per year rent for 'the Wardsend ffarme'. Wardsend House belonging to the Rawlinson family stood on this site for over 400 years. Built in 1477, the house was finally demolished in 1957. The former Tetley distribution centre now occupies the site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RichardB

Thank you for that Skyman, and Welcome to here, "Worldsend" is certainly descriptive of the place, however it's spelled.

We welcome your input :rolleyes: the more the merrier ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sheffield History

Wardsend House eh ?

First one to find a picture of that is the 'king of wardsend pictures' for a day

lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Biscuit Head

We used to play up there when I was a kid. There was a black bridge and a white bridge over the railway line......and the railings on either side were caving in...it was pretty spooky. Are they still there?

I used to take a short cut through there when I was working nights on a temporary job, from the farfield to the five arches.......as you went throught the graveyard all you could hear was the crackle of the overhead electricity pylons......that and people nicking stuff from Coopers scrapyard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neddy

I remember tose lights, weird, they lead to nowhere. Someone, quick, get a camera and record the other end of Club Mill road please, by the Farfield pub, it's got to be next on the list. ByHillfoot Bridge, also known as the Owl, ancient mill next to there, dates back to 1800 or therabouts and Corn Law Riots - Ebenezeer Elliott .. etc etc

In between Farfield and the Silvermills was Old Park Lodge, another bit of history gone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sheffield History

We used to play up there when I was a kid. There was a black bridge and a white bridge over the railway line......and the railings on either side were caving in...it was pretty spooky. Are they still there?

I used to take a short cut through there when I was working nights on a temporary job, from the farfield to the five arches.......as you went throught the graveyard all you could hear was the crackle of the overhead electricity pylons......that and people nicking stuff from Coopers scrapyard.

It's pretty much the same - overgrown, desolate, depressing and very very scary !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Virus

Wardsend House eh ?

First one to find a picture of that is the 'king of wardsend pictures' for a day

lol

I found this on the excellent site "Historic Hillsborough", is it the building you're after? Looks a bit big to me but you never know!

I remember the first time I went to Wardsend, it was early on a Sunday morning, freezing cold and deadly quiet with just the hum of the electric powerlines. Wasn't quite sure I was in the right place until I walked up the stairs and came face to face with the open grave pictured earlier... VERY scary experience!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest janey

Went back up today - there's loads more to discover there yet..

Here's a picture (large file) of a gravestone that indicates some of the sad and fascinating stories to be found in this graveyard..

Look at the ages and look at the dates - particularly the last one

Here's the inscription:

Sacred to the memory of

John, son of Aaron and Elizabeth Dearden,

who died Jan 11th 1851

Aged 6 Years

Also George, their son,

who died Sept 20th 1851

Aged 2 Years

And William, their son

who died Dec 25th 1857

Aged 2 weeks

As day succeeds to day,

So noiseless yet so sure

So passed your lives away

To where all things are pure

How sad is that story ?

Imagine losing a 2 week old child on Christmas Day ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Gilderoy

The Cemetery Riots At Sheffield - 1862

The Sheffield Magistrates were engaged for several hours on Saturday in investigating the extraordinary proceedings at Wardsend Cemetery, near that town. It will be remembered that on Tuesday night a large crowd of people, exasperated beyond all control by the horrible disclosures that had been made of the manner in which human remains were desecrated, broke into the sextons house and set it on fire, Mrs Howard narrowly escaping with her life.

Damage to the extent of ?500 was done at the house and at the cemetery. The mob searched for the sexton, but could not find him, fortunately for him. As the news of the discoveries spread through the town the parents and relatives of many of the persons buried in the ground proceeded to the place, and numbers of them began excavating the graves in order to satisfy themselves that the remains had not been tampered with.

In several cases no trace of the coffins could be found, and this, of course, greatly increased the excitement. The most revolting discovery of all, however, was made in an unused part of the cemetery grounds, where was found a large hole, roughly covered with earth and planks, and containing about twenty coffins, and a box in which were the remains of a man who had been dissected at the Sheffield Medical School.

It was found that underneath the coffins was a mass of human remains several feet in thickness, which were alleged to have been accumulated by the throwing of dissected bodies into the hole without coffins, and the emptying of bodies from coffins removed from graves in the cemetery.

A number of coffins, and twenty four coffin plates, removed from coffins which had been placed in the ground within the last three years, were found in the stable.

The examinations of the place which were made in the course of the week disclosed such a state of things, that the Bench were loudly called upon to interfere to punish the offenders and secure the future protection of the public.

Mr. Jackson, chief constable, said he had to apply to the magistrates to aid him in the investigation of the circumstances which had notoriously occurred at Wardsend burial ground and at the sexton's house, he stated that on going to the cemetery he found in the side of the hill a large hole.

It had the appearance of having been arched, but there were boards driven in at the side to support it.

The hole had been covered with planks and earth, but this the people had removed.

He saw a square box containing what evidently were the remains of a man, as also a number of coffins, twenty inches broad and fifteen or eighteen inches deep.

By the directions of one of the magistrates he had the square box removed to the cemetery stable.

Having got another box made sufficiently large to hold the one taken from the hole, he had it and the body put into this new box and brought to the police office here.

It was a deal box, about three feet six inches long, twenty inches broad, and fifteen or eighteen inches deep. The box did not appear to have been buried.

The body had evidently been dissected, the flesh having been removed from the bones. Evidence was given to show that the body found in the box had been received from the Medical School in the ordinary way, and that an interment certificate had been given by the incumbent, although the remains had not been interred.

Mrs. Harriet Shearman was sworn, and said,--I am the wife of William Shearman, miller, Philadelphia Mill-Yard. My little boy, Edward Charles, died about eight months ago ; he was then two years and one month old. He was interred at the St. Philip's ground on the twenty third of September last.

The grave was made on the left hand side over the hill, on the lower side from the railway. I paid ten shillings for the fees of burial to the sexton, Isaac Howard. I only saw a little bit of earth put on the coffin at the time.

He told me I could have a family grave by paying a further sum of twenty two shillings within the year.

In consequence of what I heard I went up to the ground on Wednesday, a little after noon. I went to a large pit there was in the cemetery, and saw some coffins there. Some of them had the lids off, and in one of these I recognised the features of my own child.

I got it taken out of the pit with the coffin, and caused it to be taken to my own house. When I got it home I examined the coffin, and found it was the same wood. I found the piece of "bump" sheet which I had placed beneath the head of the child. I am quite sure from the features, and from this sheet, that it was my child. When I left the grave at the funeral the sexton was there.

He had the care of the grave at that time. We have another child there, or it should be there.

The hole where the body was found is about two hundred yards from the grave where we left my child. I looked into the grave, but cannot recollect whether the soil was firm or soft, as it had been previously dug. There were funerals going on in the ground at the same time. I don't know who performed the service.

My first child was interred in the ground three years ago. This child was not buried in the same grave, because we had not bought the ground. We have not looked for the coffin of the first child. Mr. Jackson.--I have other women who have similar cases to this, but they are not here today.

Robert Dixon.--I am a labourer in the service of Mr. Oxspring, of Wardsend. I know Isaac Howard, the sexton of this cemetery.

I agreed with him to go and live in his house in the graveyard. I cannot tell exactly the day of the month, but it was some time in March last. Shortly after I had gone there I observed a curious smell in the room above the stable. I thrust some knots out of the deal boards, and looked down into the stable.

We had then been there two or three weeks. I saw about twenty coffins- some of persons about fifteen and sixteen and ten years old--others were those of stillborn children. None of them appeared to be the coffins of grown up persons. I had seen Howard lock and unlock this door, and knew he had the key. The coffins were not covered over with anything, and were lying on the ground, piled in heaps on the top of each other.

I saw some broken up coffins piled in a corner by themselves--the wood appeared to be new. Those pieces are there now. The day I flitted ( last Monday ) I and several other men saw in the stone shed near the house four or five sides and lids of coffins. they were in a dark corner of the shed. Did you ever really see a body, or only coffins in the shed?

I lifted up the lid of one coffin, in the shed, about six weeks ago. The night following the body had been removed from the coffin, but the coffin remained in the shed. I lifted the lid with my toe, and saw the face of the body. It looked very fresh, as though it had been buried a week or two. It looked like the face of a boy about fifteen years of age. I looked at the coffin the same night, after Howard had set off to Sheffield. Had seen him go. He put two corpses into a box. One appeared to be ten, and the other fifteen, I saw the same coffin empty in the shed the same night.

I afterwards went and looked through the holes in the floor.

Tell the magistrates what you think you saw him doing.--

I came home earlier than usual. I thought he looked very ***** and "sheepish" in my eye. I had had suspicion of him before. I saw him go in and out of the house and go up the burial ground. I went upstairs and looked through the holes in the floor, and waited till he came back into the stable. He appeared to be cutting off the leg of a child about ten years old.

The child lay on two planks, and he had a carving knife in his hand. I saw him put the bodies into a box.

He put the lid on and went outside the door, and came in again immediately. He put the box on a barrow, and went to the river side. I saw him put two bodies into the box.

The stable is not so large as the room overhead, in which I was. The holes were large enough to admit my finger.

There is a small slide window in the top of the stable, with only four or five panes in it. I once found the stable door unlocked, about three weeks ago, and saw about twenty coffins and twenty four coffin plates. I took the plates away and gave them to Mr. Oxspring.

They are the same he has given to the chief constable. I had previously told Mr. Oxspring, and was acting under his advice in what I did.

The sexton asked me to take the house. We have had a quarrel, but were good friends before I left the house. I met him on the burying ground. I asked him if I could cultivate a bit of ground, and he consented on condition that the ground should be given up if there were any Catholic funerals.

He spoke very angrily to my wife about the place, and I wished to see him, and told him he had better take those bodies out of the coach house before he said anything to my wife. We parted good friends. I have once been in trouble for stealing some corn, four years ago, at Ellerby Hall. That is the only thing I have ever been in to my knowledge. I had married just before.

Mr. Jackson.--He was tried and sentenced to six months imprisonment.

Witness.--Mr. Oxspring and Howard have been good friends. I don't know anything about an action for impounding cattle. I told Mr. Oxspring about six weeks ago what was going on, and he advised me to go into the stable if I had an opportunity.

Bethia Dixon wife of the last witness---We went to live at the house in the graveyard on twenty-fourth of March. When we first went I noticed a peculiar smell in the room over the stable, and it got worse. I spoke to the sexton about the smell, and he said he would remove it--it would go away. The smell made me ill, and I had a miscarriage in consequence.

I have seen the porter from the Medical School go up the burial ground. He came more than once. I first saw him there on the Thursday in the second week we went to live there, which would have been on the third of April.

I told the sexton that the man had been to see him, and the man came again on the Friday morning, but he did not see the sexton. I told the sexton again, and he said he had seen him, but he (the porter) had no money for him, and until he got some money he (Howard) should not let anything else go. I have seen a man named "John" who assisted Howard, remove coffins from graves, and put them in the open shed. The sexton afterwards put them in the stable.

The men opened the graves and removed the coffins from them. These graves were not distinguished by mounds of earth.

Judging from the size of the coffins which "John" and Howard removed, I should say that they were those of children about ten or twelve. About a fortnight ago I saw Howard remove some coffins from the stable into a large pit. He took some in the day time, and towards evening he got the assistance of another man. I saw a man named Coldwell helping him. Before I was married I lived four years in service in Mr. Warhurst's of Ecclesall Road.

I never saw any other person at the pit than Howard and the two men assisting him. I never saw any funerals performed at that pit. There was one small place open, so as they could slide a coffin into it, but it could be made larger. The pit was covered with planks, and a thin layer of earth. There were planks placed against the hole when they were not using it. I remember the holes being made in the floor of the room over the stable. I looked down and saw coffins there. I have looked on several occasions when my husband has been away.

Mr. J. Barber, surgeon, was examined, and stated the manner in which bodies were obtained for the purposes of dissection at the Medical School from the workhouse. No bodies were obtained except by legitimate way.

The inquiry was then adjourned until Friday next

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Gilderoy

Brilliant Stuff, I too used to play up there along with my mates and there was always a real eary feeling about the place. In fact sometimes we would frighten ourselves silly. I now work at Bassetts and often look up onto the graveyard, keep meaning to take the dog for a walk up there, as it does hold a strange kind of fasination to me.

When we was kids we had a story passed down from one of my mates parents, that a local witch by the name of Mrs Critchlowe was buried up there, who used to terrify the children of her day. Dont know if there is any more to the tale, as that is all I remember on the subject.

The little stone bridge at the top end of Livesey street has recently been distroyed in the June 2007 flood, which is a shame, but I do believe they are working to rebuild. Is there any more stories about the place? Please tell us some more. :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sheffield History

Definitely get yourself up there for a walk around - it's not lost any of it's magic !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...