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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.99

New facilities unveiled at Rochdale Cemetery

20.115 Front View Final 1Artists impression of the upgrade works to the crematorium

Blossom tree plaqueBlossom tree memorial plaques can also be purchased at West Lodge Memorial HallMajor upgrade works at Rochdale Cemetery have been revealed as a new memorial hall opens alongside expansion works to improve the site’s crematorium facilities.

West Lodge, situated at the entrance to the cemetery, is a Grade II listed building officially re-opened to the public on Friday 15 September as a new memorial hall.

The lodge, originally the registrar’s office accommodation when the cemetery was created in 1855, had stood empty for a number of years due to its poor internal condition.

Book of RemembranceBooks of Remembrance are now housed at West Lodge Memorial HallMajor restoration works carried out by the council have seen the lodge sympathetically transformed into a new memorial hall with a book of remembrance room where anyone can visit to pay respects and discuss options for storing ashes and memorials for lost loved ones.

Books of Remembrance at West Lodge Memorial HallLeader of the council, Neil Emmott and Cllr Angela Smith take a moment to read the Books of RemembranceA former toilet block outside the lodge has made way for a peaceful new garden carefully planned around the focal point of a symbolic memorial tree with glass leaves engraved with messages in remembrance of lives past.

Councillor Liam O’Rourke, cabinet member for climate change and environment, said: “West Lodge Memorial Hall now offers the perfect retreat for visitors to pay respects, or discuss ideas for lasting memorials, or simply a quiet place to sit and reflect in the new gardens - providing visitors with a place to think, reflect and remember, year after year.”

Across the cemetery, the old book of remembrance site will become a new waiting room for 40 people, and an extension to the crematorium will house the latest energy-efficient cremation system, a fully refurbished chapel and public toilets, with works due to be completed in late 2024. 

Councillor Neil Emmott, leader of the council, added: “How wonderful it was to officially open West Lodge Memorial Hall, which is now respectfully restored into a beautiful, calm space, for residents to cherish and remember lost loved ones. Also, with the additional works under way at the crematorium building, Rochdale Cemetery will continue to provide first-class facilities for residents.”

Further information about Rochdale Cemetery can be found at Rochdale.gov.uk/funerals