Over 130 memorial stones are being moved from Square Chapel to Lister Lane Cemetery in Halifax as work on the Piece Hall and new Central Library and Archive gets underway.
Calderdale Council’s Bereavement Services team removed the stones for safekeeping, as their current site undergoes re-development.
Many of the Square Chapel congregation chose to be buried in Lister Lane Cemetery after it opened in 1841, amongst them the famous Crossley family of Dean Clough. By this period the Square Chapel yard was almost full and it closed a few years later. Several of the memorial stones which have been removed from Square Chapel are inscribed with family names linked to those interred in Lister Lane Cemetery.
Calderdale Council’s Leader, Cllr Stephen Baines said:
“The memorial stones have great local historic interest and it’s vital they remain in public view so that future generations can have access to the information which they record. It is a fitting solution that they will be transferred to Lister Lane, re-uniting family groups which have been apart for more than 170 years.”
The Council is working with the Friends of Lister Lane Cemetery and the Calderdale Family History Society to make sure the memorial stones are recorded and photographed before being carefully moved to their new location.
Chair of the Lister Lane Cemetery, David C Glover said:
“It seems logical for the memorial stones from Square Chapel to be placed in a cemetery which was, in effect, its successor. There are strong ties between the two sites – Lister Lane holds the grave and memorial to Rev. Enoch Mellor, the greatest of the 19th Century pastors at the Chapel.
“The Friends would like the history of the memorial stones to be clear, so that visitors are aware that they were not originally part of the cemetery, but a later addition from Square Chapel. They will remain the property of Calderdale Council, but The Friends of Lister Lane will take good care of them in their new home.”
They are being stored temporarily at Stoney Royd Cemetery until they can be moved to their permanent home at Lister Lane Cemetery over the winter. Once at the cemetery they will be used to form a pathway which visitors will be able to view for generations to come. The work should be completed by May 2015.