Monday, 12 March 2012

Yellow Monster in Hyde Cemetery

As I posted on Thursday, the chapel in Hyde Cemetery is no more. Here a JCB is sitting by the rubble ready to clear the remnants into a lorry that is waiting nearby.

Hyde cemetery was laid out in 1894. The Non-Conformist chapel was the last of three chapels which originally stood in the cemetery. It was designed by J.W. Beaumont; an architect with at least three listed buildings to his name, including Hyde Town Hall (1883-5, Grade II) and the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester (c.1895-1900, Grade II).

When the local council intimated that they wanted to demolish the chapel Nancy Morris of the Hyde Cheshire blog applied to English Heritage to have the chapel listed but was turned down. The main reasons given were as follows
  • The chapel at Hyde is a late example of its type as Municipal cemeteries were laid out from the 1850s, with the height of cemetery chapel construction spanning the period 1840-1880
  • This Non-Conformist chapel has lost the context of its companion chapels to the north and south, although it still retains its place within the landscape and relationship with the lodge.
  • Although designed by a respected architect, this is not the best example of his work; aside from the unusual tower, the design is largely standard for its date.
The second reason seems to me particularly ironic, the loss of its sisters being a good argument for its retention.

See how the chapel looked in my post of August 3rd 2011

Two more demolition photos can be found on Hyde DP Xtra.

This post is a contribution to Mellow Yellow Monday and Taphophile Tragics.


  1. It's amazing the way local councils can find ways to justify the sometimes very strange things that they do. It will be interesting Gerald to see what they do with this space.

    1. So far as I know they'll be doing nothing with the space - they simply don't want the expense of its upkeep. The areas where the two other chapels stood (demolished before my time) are just patches of grass now.

  2. I can't stop thinking the scenes that happened here before (way way back when it was first built or years after it was built). Families crying, families saying goodbyes.

    The realities of life. I'm looking at the photo now putting more stories in my head. Photo really tells a thousand words.

  3. Nice post and interesting story.

  4. This just seems so wrong. :(

  5. I am always in favor of keeping the old as long as its usable! It adds to history when you keep it here in my town they are tearing down all the old shcools...I wish they didnt have to do that--

  6. This is Tragic with a capital T .... I'm sure the chapel would have been an asset to the aesthetics of the park.

  7. I am not sure how to approach this demolition, Gerald. The essence of any cemetery, are the bodies 'at rest'. Not the churches, nor the chapels, nor any other 'building' of religious observation.

    Having said that, however, I am all for the continuation of history. Yes, they may not have been beautiful. They may have been derivative. But so is lots of our society.

    And few people were up in arms about this wilful destruction?

  8. How sad. I think it was a cute little chapel. And as you say, the fact they'd already removed the other two was all the more reason to keep it.