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Across the road from ‘eerie’ Nottingham cemetery where the dead ‘would rise from their grave’

today2 July 2022 2

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On the border of the busy Mansfield Road, where countless cars pass daily, lies one of Nottingham’s biggest cemeteries – a tranquil and mysterious spot covering almost 13 acres. The Church Cemetery, better known as Rock Cemetery, is steeped in history – and the head stones are said to be tilted because the dead would “rise from their grave”.

It is a calm place, yet an eerie place that adds character to the area. The majority of people living in the area described it as a “special feature” to their neighbourhood.

Iain Rowley, a teacher who walks alongside Forest Road East every day to work, said there is something that “draws” him to it. The 40-year-old added: “I am drawn to that eerie atmosphere. I would not go that for to say that I walk here at night, but I pass by every day when I go to work.

READ MORE: Nottingham’s Rock Cemetery that’s described as ‘eerily beautiful’ in TripAdvisor reviews

“It is a unique, special feature of this street. It would be terrible to replace it with a block of flats or anything else. It is part of history. I am always curious about the lives of the people who are buried here. There are some really old graves, and I am assuming there were wealthy people also judging by the graves that are bigger.

“It does not look like there is any space left. But I think it is important to keep it, and think about it.” It comprises an estimated 14,000 graves and around 43,000 babies, children and adults are said to be buried here. The cemetery, designed by Edwin Patchitt, took several years to build and was not yet finished when it was opened in 1856.



Nottingham's Rock Cemetery
Nottingham’s Rock Cemetery

A mortuary chapel was added in 1879. The city council took over responsibility for the cemetery in 1965. Thomas Phillip, who has just finished his studies at Nottingham Trent University, was riding an e-scooter on Forest Road East, and said: “I think we have to look after this cemetery and respect the dead. I think it is quite an ominous and daunting place, but there is something about it.”

The 22-year-old, who studied architecture, added: “The headstones are tilted as the dead would rise from their grave. I think there should be more trees that would blossom and make it look even nicer.”

Bordering Mansfield Road, Forest Road and the Forest Recreation Ground, the cemetery has Grade II* listed status. It was one of the green spaces created as part of the 1845 Nottingham Enclosure Act, together with The Arboretum, Corporation Oaks, St Ann’s, and Queens Walk in The Meadows.



The Rock Cemetery in Nottingham
The Rock Cemetery in Nottingham

The site of the cemetery, at the top of a hill, was a site where public executions used to take place. The last public hanging at the site took place in 1827 for a robbery.

Jack Wallis, who is 23 and also a recent architecture graduate, added: “I think of it as just a cemetery and nothing else. I think it should have more flowers, I think it would look good on a sunny day.” Another resident in the area, who wished to remain anonymous, said he goes on walks in the cemetery to “clear his mind”.

He added: “I love the scenery, I think it is thought-provoking. It is worth a visit if you are passing by. You cannot miss it.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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