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Malpas Cemetery – A brief History

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Malpas Cemetery – A brief History

A cemetery differs from a Church Yard in that anyone can be buried there, regardless of their religious beliefs.

Malpas Cemetery dates back to 1873 when the St Oswald's Churchyard was almost full.
2 ½ acres of land were purchased from the Marques of Cholmondeley for £250.

Malpas Joint Burial Board was formed to represent the surrounding parishes of Malpas, Hampton, Wigland, Overton, Bradley, Wychough, and the parishes of Bickley, Macfen and Tushingham, areas of which later became  Nomansheath.

The committee borrowed the money to purchase the land and build the lodge and the chapel of rest from the government or as it was known then, "Public Works and Commerce".

The Burial Board borrowed just over £1,500. This was repaid over 50 years.

The cemetery was officially registered with the Land Registry on 18th of December 1995, under the absolute title of:
Malpas, Hampton, Chilton, Buddington, Edge, Oldcastle, Newton Stockton, Wigland, Overton, Bradley and Wychough.
The entry refers to the deeds as having being lost.
(Note:  It is assumed that Chilton was actually Chorlton parish and Buddington was actually Cuddinton Parish)

The clock on the chapel of rest was made by local clockmaker Arthur Drummond Callcott.

The Calcott family were prominent in the local area and Richard Calcott, a Wheelwright from Chorlton, was the first person to purchase a plot in the cemetery for one pound and one shilling for his wife and himself.
This was on the 6th April 1875, when his wife, Ann Calcott became the first internee. Richard survived Ann by 27 years was buried in the same grave on 2nd July 1902.

The grave was recorded as being 9 feet deep and the headstone to them both was erected on 29th July 1903 at a cost of eleven shillings and six pence.

On average, the cemetery has between 8 and 12 new grave burials per year and the same of reopening of existing graves.
In addition an average of 4 to 6 interments of cremated remains per year take place.

However recent years have seen a decline in burials due to a number of factors.
These being:
a/ Family members tend today to live further away from their parents and grandparents so are less likely to want to come back and tend to a family grave.
b/ Cremation is cheaper.
c/ A memorial stone on a grave can cost more than £1,500.

Up until recently, Malpas cemetery was had a resident caretaker and grave digger in the Cheshire West and Chester Council catchment area of which there are 31 Church Yards and Cemeteries.

There are 31 Church Yards and Cemeteries in the Cheshire West and Chester Council catchment area, and Malpaswas one of the last to employ a resident caretaker and grave digger

Running costs for Malpas Cemetery are currently around £23,000 per year.
This includes Insurance, water and electric supply, maintenance and repairs.

The cemetery does receive £8,800 in grant aid from Cheshire West and Chester Council, but this amount has not been increased since 2008.

At April 2014 there were over 4,300 people buried in the cemetery, and there were still 350 new plots available, and burial plots can still be purchased.

The lodge situated near the entrance gate is currently under renovation and it is expected that when completed, it will be rented out in order to raise some of the annual site maintenance costs.

This article was put together from various sources including copies of the original Burial Board Record books.

Anyone considering using the facility should contact the Burial Board secretary for the current terms and conditions.
Enquiries should be made by email to:

Chris Whitehurst
Information updated
November 2023

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