Cemetery, Malvern WR14 2AT
When the Cemetery was opened in 1861 as a way of relieving pressure on Churchyards, it was carefully designed as a recreational and picnic area. The Victorians revered their dead relatives and erected large and artistic gravestones to mark their graves. The Cemetery itself was designed as a place which would be visited and included ponds and seats to encourage visitors. It remains the largest open space in Malvern and is managed by the Malvern Town Council on behalf of the Malvern Hills District Council.
For a number of years the Civic Society has invested considerable effort in documenting the graves and now has monthly volunteer working parties to control the undergrowth and make the Victorian part of the Cemetery accessible to the public. The Malvern Family History Association was given a grant from the Town Council some years ago to digitise the burial records and about 1500 graves are recorded on www.findagrave.com.
In addition to the Victorian graves, the Cemetery has some unusual and listed buildings which were built when it was opened including two Chapels – one Anglican and one for other denominations – plus a mortuary.
As was the custom of the time, a comfortable cottage was provided for the Sexton; it is now used as a rest room for cemetery staff.
There will be one guided tour at 11.00am – tickets are £5 and the proceeds will be given towards renovation work.
The original entrance to the Cemetery was through Wilton Road and was fitted with impressive gates and a set of rules on a plaque beside the entrance.
The houses in Wilton Road were built at the same time as was the Forester’s Inn – a watering hole for undertakers’ staff and visitors alike.