RECORDS

The register of burials in the Calderstones Cemetery

These are the records of people known to have been buried or interred in the Cemetery between 1920 and 1989. All the records were taken from the Hospital's original burial books or death certificates, and have been cross-referenced against separate grave and Garden of Remembrance documents and maps. It is believed that there may have been additional burials and interments into the Cemetery, particularly between 1967 and 1977 and post 1989, but for accuracy, only the records which can be corroborated against the original Hospital registers and certificates have been included at this time. It is possible that further research may identify other burials and interments which might have been recorded elsewhere.

The Grave Register

The Grave Register lists every known grave and interment within the Cemetery by their official reference and the names of the individuals buried within those graves or interred within the Garden of Remembrance. The Register uses information from the same burial records and death certificates but displays those details by grave rather than by alphabetic order. The fact that many of the graves were shared by more than one person is immediately evident but at this time it is not possible to identify what relationship if any, might have existed between those people.

The Garden of Remembrance within the Cemetery

The original Garden of Remembrance was established within the south west quadrant of the Cemetery in 1977 and the first interment was that of Edwin Lymm, an apparently popular and retired member of staff who lived at the Hospital. Following Edwin's interment, the ashes of at least a further 210 former patients and staff of the Hospital were interred in the Cemetery. Records of each of these interments survived as did the grid reference map identifying the precise location of each burial. (see Garden of Remembrance) The following register has been compiled from the original Hospital records and all entries have been corroborated against the burial and grave records. There is reason to believe that there may have been additional interments into the Garden of Remembrance after 1989, which is the date of the last available official record. Further research may identify additional burials and if these can be corroborated against official records, they will be included at a later date.

The Garden of Remembrance

1979 to 1989

The Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society record from April 1992

The Ribble Valley Branch of the Society transcribed, typed and indexed all the monumental inscriptions within the Caldertones Hospital Private Cemetery. The approach is similar to the 2018 records but there are important differences which provide another wealth of evidence against which other records can be checked. Attached are copies of the original papers with all the corrections, questions and in some cases rejections left as they were, which at times are inconclusive. At the time these records were taken, we believe that the majority of the gravestones and their inscriptions would have been less than 25 years old 

Surname Index with grave number 

The members of the Ribble Valley Branch who completed this research are believed to include at least two people who were also members of staff of the hospital at the time.

Surname index then grave reference


Index by grave with record of burials

The missing records

During the course of this research it became apparent that some Hospital records, for the period 1967 until 1977 and from 1989 to 1992, were either incomplete or unfortunately missing. The Hospital burial records from 1920 to 1967 were in excellent condition and easily corroborated against the Grave Register. Apart from the Garden of Remembrance register, other records from 1977 to 1989 are missing. The limited records from 1989 to 1992 which were available were incomplete and of very poor quality compared with those from earlier periods. 

Based on what limited records were still available and making a conservative calculation of the Hospital's death rates during the relevant years, an estimate of 550 deaths between 1967 and 1977 seemed reasonable. For the latter period of 1989 to 1992 we know of 62 deaths during that time but the records are poor and incomplete.

The most likely explanation of the lack of records during these two periods is that the registers and files have simply been lost, or for whatever reason were not completed. Checks with the Lancashire Archives and the Merseycare NHS Trust (Calderstones successor) have failed to locate any other register and official records. The quality, consistency and attention to detail in the records 1920 - 1967 and 1977-1989, would suggest that it is unlikely that the Hospital's administration and record-keeping standards would inexplicably change. 

A complicating factor which the research revealed was that during the relevant "missing" period, there were fundamental  changes in responsibility in both the Health Service and Local Government, with entirely new authorities created and many areas merged, while others simply disappeared under re-organisation or restructuring arrangements. So for many people who had been admitted from a single Local Authority within an established Health Authority, when the time came for them to be resettled or in this case buried or interred, they would be the responsibility of  a new Local Authority and Health Authority who had probably little awareness of their presence or history.

As Calderstones was a North West Regional Health Authority provision, it was believed that with few exceptions, admissions to the Hospital came from the north-west. However, evidence seen during the course of this research questions that assumption. At times,  Calderstones was also seen as a national and specialist provision. We are aware of people from Carlisle, Southampton, Devon, Lincolnshire, Buckinghamshire, Nottinghamshire and North Yorkshire who died at Calderstones.

We are left to consider what might have happened to the approximately 612 people who died at Calderstones in the relevant periods. Some would have returned to their families or home areas to make burial arrangements, but as in the periods for which we have good records, it is likely that for at least some, the Hospital would have had to make the necessary burial or interment arrangements. We have a good idea of who some of these people were, but where they were buried or interred remains unknown. It is possible that they were all dealt with "off-site" and none are buried or interred in the Hospital cemetery, but that seems extremely unlikely especially for 1967 to 1977 given the detailed history of normal practice which preceded and again succeeded it. The recent evidence from a relative that his aunt who died in the Hospital in 1969 was cremated and had her ashes interred in the Church of England section of the Cemetery, might be a guide to what happened to some of the people whose records are missing.


We still hope that if they do exist, the missing registers, will be discovered in the future.