Manchester City Council

Births, marriages, deaths & nationality Manchester Cemeteries and Blackley Crematorium

Gorton Cemetery

Map, opening times, transport information, and other detailed information about Gorton Cemetery

Green Flag Award

The Cemetery has three entrances located on Thornwood Avenue. Vehicles should use the main entrance on Thornwood Avenue, and a second access point is at the junction of Woodlands Avenue and Alveston Road. The gates are open from dawn until dusk 365 days a year. There are bus stops nearby on Hyde Road and Reddish Lane. There is limited parking within the cemetery.

Gorton Cemetery opened in 1900 and covers 13 hectares of land. The cemetery has over 18,000 graves and 80,000 people have been buried there since it opened.

Beautiful gardens surround the site of the former chapels and, overall, the cemetery is typical of the older-type cemeteries in Manchester. It has approximately 15 years of new burial space available and will be predominately used for the re-opening of family graves in the future.

Gorton Cemetery contains many large, old, Victorian style memorials which adds to the history, character and charm of the place. Casualties from both the First and Second World Wars are commemorated, and a Screen Wall bears the names of 15 First World War casualties whose graves could not be individually marked. There are also three Special Memorials commemorating casualties whose graves in nearby Brookfield Unitarian Chapelyard can no longer be maintained. The Cemetery also has a Cross of Sacrifice.

An important feature of Gorton Cemetery is Nico Ditch, constructed sometime between the Roman withdrawal from Britain and the Norman Conquest (possibly in the 7th Century as a boundary for the expansionist Anglo-Saxons, or in the late 8th or early 9th Century as a boundary marker between the Kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria.) The purpose of Nico Ditch is unclear; it may have been used as a defensive fortification or as an administrative boundary. Regardless of its earlier use, the ditch has been used as a boundary since at least the medieval period, and legend has it that Nico Ditch was completed in a single night by the inhabitants of Manchester as a protection against Viking invaders in 869-870. Each man had a set area of the ditch to construct and was required to dig the ditch and build a bank equal to his own height.

If you'd like to have a memorial at Gorton Cemetery, or make an enquiry, please contact Blackley Cemetery and Crematorium at:

Telephone: 0161 227 3201
Email: ops.cemeteries@manchester.gov.uk

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