Thursday, 19 July 2018

Lost and forgotten streets of Salford ...... nu 45 Queen Street .... a car park and a gravestone

Now this is one of those stories which I know will require a lot more research and will I suspect also lead to a few cross words.

The Gravestone in the carpark, 2016
We are a car park where Clement Chapman came across this gravestone and was moved to comment, “Check this out Andrew --------- ‘And the only car park with a tombstone? 

Why, that would be close to the bargain of Greengate car park on Queen Street where a handwritten notice advises us it's £3.90 all day (£2 on the weekend). 

This cleared site was formally the Bible Christian Church whose preacher the Reverend William Cowherd in 1809 persuaded his congregation to give up meat which indirectly led to the creation of the Vegetarian Society, which is still based in Altrincham, South Manchester. 

Close to the entrance to the car park there are still gravestones visible."

I suspect there will many like me who feel at the very least a sense of unease that a once treasured headstone to a loved one has been left in the corner of a car park.

The Church and graveyard, 1849
I fully accept that we need car parks and certainly this bit of Salford has got its fair share but there is something not quite right about how this one has been treated.

I think I will have to follow Clement’s picture up and try and translate the inscription and the name if only to research this discarded record of a life.

In the meantime if anyone is down there perhaps they could help Clement and I out.

Depending on the date of the headstone we might be able to track them on a census return and perhaps go looking for the burial records of the church.

It is a project in progress and I would argue a very worthwhile one.

In the meantime I have Elaine Craven to thank for adding a comment.

"Andrew,  when I was a kid, I lived in Hopwood Street, our back entry was the graveyard, Blake’s Motors used it as a breakdown site. 

There was 4 high walls surrounding it, Queen Street, Gravel Lane Croft which was Trinity Church, ,King Street and our back entry. 

The gravestones were about a storey up, underneath was the coffins on plinths, all rotted, (surrounded by the four walls)Mr Hesford was the caretaker, we used to dare each other to run underneath the gravestones, one lifted up at one end of the site and another lifted up at the other end, if Mr. Hesford caught you, you were in trouble.

I only ran through once, it was very scary. 

Hopwood Street and Linsey Street were demolished and used as car parks now I think, but I can’t see how the graveyard is used as a car park, it was too high up, unless that’s been demolished too, but where will all the coffins have gone. Hope this helps".

And it certainly does, thank you Elaine ...... another bit of our history is revealed.

Location; Salford

Pictures; discarded gravestone in the former churchyard of  the Bible Christian Church, 2016 from the collection of AntonyMills, and detail of Queen street and the church and grounds in 1849, from the OS Map for Manchester & Salford, 1844-49, courtesy of Digital Archives Association,

1 comment:

  1. the old anaconda cut was infilled with loads of grave stones ill certainly be trying to locate this one as im always around the new greengate area thanks for bringing it to my attention and well spotted Clement Chapman