THE GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE
The original Garden of Remembrance was established within the south west quadrant of the cemetery during 1977, where over the next 12 years the cremated remains of a total of 211 former patients and staff are recorded as having been buried.
There is some evidence to suggest that additional interments into the Garden of Remembrance may have taken place after 1989. It is hoped that ongoing research may provide more information in this respect
Sometime during 2002, after all the hundreds of gravestones had been removed, supposedly for health and safety reasons, the then owner of the cemetery, Colin Arkwright, began to establish a new Garden of Remembrance, possibly in ignorance of the existence of the original plot. - see below.
We have some photos but no surviving written or digital records of Colin's development, with its statues, tracery and marker stones, which were apparently subject to vandalism and destroyed in 2008. Photos of this development are featured on the excellent web site of Laurie Manton, (www.flckr.com/photos/laurie-manton/5406205226) and have led several people to confuse the true location of the original Garden of Remembrance.
The precise location of the Garden of Remembrance within the cemetery was subject to much discussion and scrutiny in 2018 and 2019, during the Archdeacon's applications for partial de-consecration. The apparent damage and possible destruction of parts of the cemetery containing human remains by the owners and contractors during 2018 made it impossible to identify the precise boundaries of the original Garden of Remembrance but we are reasonably certain that the recently discovered picture from 1977 and Bill Edwardson's photographs with the map provided by Gordon Hartley are the most accurate guide to its true location
It is now accepted by both the Diocese of Blackburn and the Ribble Valley Borough Council that the true location of the Garden of Remembrance is in the south west quadrant, as suggested by the Friends of Calderstones Cemetery.
The original Garden of Remembrance
The Garden of Remembrance
This is a copy of the "Layout of the Garden of Remembrance." It was taken from the Hospital's official burial register, prior to those records being transferred to the Lancashire Archives.
The first recorded interment in the Garden of Remembrance was Edwin A Lymm (a popular and well-known former member of staff) in September 1977. The latest known and recorded interment was Thomas Mount in February 1989, (when the burial register terminates) though there is reason to believe that further interments took place.
The recorded layout shows 14 occupied rows marked A to P running in date order, east to west. Each row contains 15 individual plots., numbered 1 to 15. A further row Q identified a single plot Q1 but the map shows a further 149 vacant plots within the Garden of Remembrance at the time of the last entry in the records, which was in 1989.
Each of the plots A1 to Q1 inclusive have been identified and from the available records it has been possible to identify the occupier and location of each of the 211 known interments into the Garden of Remembrance. - see register
Please note that the Garden of Remembrance was developed in a south to north direction, that is towards the central path rather than away from it, contrary to suggestions made in some planning submissions.
Looking East through the Lych Gate around 1978. Immediately to the right , you can see two gravestones of the Booth Hall babies. In the mid distance the many rows of white gravestones in the C of E section to the right of the central path and the RC section to the left can clearly be seen. In the far distance, the stone cross at the centre of the QMMH section of the cemetery is clearly visible. Immediately behind the Booth Hall babies gravestones you will see an area where the soil appears to have been disturbed. This is an early picture of the Garden of Remembrance where 211 former patients and staff were known to have been interred between 1977 and 1989..
The Bill Edwardson photo
This is a photograph of Bill Edwardson, a former senior member of Hospital staff looking at the grave of Robert McClennan. Also visible are the gravestones of Gordon Webb and Robert Eastwood. These 3 children were part of the group of babies known as the Booth Hall babies who died at Calderstones in September 1939. Immediately behind Bill, the square outline of the Garden of Remembrance is clearly visible and it was here that at least 211 former patients and staff were known to have been interred between 1977 and 1989. In the mid-distance, beyond the central circle, the rows of gravestones in the C of E section are clearly visible.
This photograph which was fortunately discovered by David Fitzapatrick, among his substantial collection of records was to have crucial importance in confirming the true location of the Garden of Remembrance, and led to the Archdeacon's withdrawal of his first application for partial de-consecration.
The recent discovery
This .photo was taken during the winter of 1977 and has been seen by lots of people over the past 3 years. However, only recently was the small mound of raised soil on the left hand side of the picture recognised as being significant. It is exactly the same area as Bill Edwardson's photos and the testimonies of Gordon Hartley and Ian Furber.
We know that the first 8 urns containing human remains were interred in the Garden of Remembrance between September 1977 and February 1978.
This picture is now believed to be the earliest surviving photo of the Garden of Remembrance.
The handwritten map of the Garden of Remembrance
The missing records
This very detailed and neatly written record of burials into the Garden of Remembrance, ends abruptly in May 1986 without explanation, though it is known that there are records of a further 50 people being buried there. The last recorded burial being that of Thomas Mount in 1989. It is typical of other excellently maintained hospital records which suddenly terminate without any obvious reason. Subsequently, medical records staff in the hospital, have speculated that perhaps records were being transferred to computers and digital storage at this time, which might be expected, but we have found no digital records which might confirm this suggestion.
Garden of Remembrance - Please note the photos and information contained in the above sections of the website refer directly to the original Garden of Remembrance and the photos below relate to the newer Garden of Remembrance which were in different locations within the cemetery.
2003 The other "Garden of Remembrance"
Photographs taken by Gordon Hartley
21 April 2003
The proposed new Garden of Remembrance established by Colin Arkwright in 2002 is visible on the right hand side of the photo in the C of E section. No records of any further interments or scattering in this area have been found, but it is possible that such records may be discovered in the future.
An ornamental statue and surround for the "new Garden of Remembrance" which was being established in the south east quadrant of the cemetery on top of graves in the C of E section during Colin Arkwright's stewardship. It would appear that Colin may have been unaware of the existence of the established Garden of Remembrance with its 211 known interments nearer the C of E chapel. These statues and surrounds were allegedly destroyed by local vandals during 2008. Apparently, at the same time, the chapels were also vandalized but the graves within the QMMH cemetery remained undisturbed.