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Lodge, Gates and Walls at Great Malvern Cemetery

A Grade II Listed Building in Great Malvern, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.111 / 52°6'39"N

Longitude: -2.3114 / 2°18'40"W

OS Eastings: 378771

OS Northings: 245899

OS Grid: SO787458

Mapcode National: GBR 0FN.QFC

Mapcode Global: VH934.W6FJ

Entry Name: Lodge, Gates and Walls at Great Malvern Cemetery

Listing Date: 27 September 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1446767

Location: Malvern, Malvern Hills, Worcestershire, WR14

County: Worcestershire

District: Malvern Hills

Civil Parish: Malvern

Built-Up Area: Great Malvern

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire


Gate lodge, gates and boundary wall to Great Malvern Cemetery by WH Knight of 1861 - 1863.


Gate lodge, gates and boundary wall to Great Malvern Cemetery by WH Knight of 1861 - 1863.

MATERIALS: the lodge is built of stone under a tile roof, and has a brick extension to the rear. The gate piers and boundary walls are also of stone, and the gates are of cast iron.

PLAN: when approaching the cemetery along Wilton Road, the boundary walls stand with a long section to the north-west and shorter section with gates to the north. The lodge is just beyond, within the cemetery but close to the boundary.

EXTERIOR: there are two pairs of gates within the boundary walls. The first, at the southern end, now give access to a modern house. There is one large pier marking the end of the wall, and two piers either side of the gate. The piers themselves have large square bases which then taper in the manner of a broach spire and are surmounted by large octagonal finials. These have relief trefoil panels and small lucarnes. The original cast-iron gates survive.

There is then a long section of random stone walling with ashlar cappings, with an approximately central projection with carved panels setting out the cemetery regulations. The panels are contained in moulded ashlar surrounds with a moulded gable above, and stand proud of the wall to either side.

At the north end are further gates and piers matching the others, and a pedestrian gate to one side. The right-hand pier retains a letter box and a hole for what appears to have been a bell pull, which would have connected to a bell at the lodge.

The LODGE is a roughly rectangular structure, with a bow window on its west elevation facing the cemetery entrance. Window panes in the mullioned and transomed bow are inserted directly into the stone, rather than frames. Above the bow is a window in a pointed surround with carved hoodmould and label stops, and to the north a door in a moulded surround gives access to a short lean-to passage and the main entrance. Above the entrance, a carved stone panel gives the date 1861.

The north and south elevations have projecting gables with further pointed arch windows. At the apex of the south gable is what appears to be a small belfry. To the east is a mid-C20 brick extension with casement windows.

INTERIOR: the interior of the lodge retains a number of original fire surrounds, including in the main ground floor room where there is a large black surround with inset panels and tiles. There is a dogleg stair with chamfered balustrading accessing the upper floor.


From around the mid-C18 onwards, England's towns were experiencing a growing burial crisis, where traditional churchyards and burial grounds were becoming overcrowded and increasingly unhygienic. This prompted the development of new ideas for burial, including the opening of new urban cemeteries. These were laid out as a new type of landscape, taking inspiration from the C18 country house pleasure grounds, with networks of paths and walks with ornamental planting, and the idea of cemeteries also as places of pleasure and social gathering. These cemeteries often had their own chapels and burial plots which were divided between religious denominations. They became places where people of all social classes could be buried, and where family and friends would meet to walk the grounds. These were known as garden cemeteries, and they were generally operated on a commercial basis by private companies. Their numbers increased particularly from around the 1820s.

Despite these new cemeteries, the problem of overcrowded burial grounds became acute in the first half of the C19. Cholera epidemics of the 1830s and 1840s prompted action from the governments of the day, with a series of Acts of Parliament in the 1850s becoming known as the Burial Acts, giving local authorities the power to open public cemeteries. These were generally set up by local Burial Boards, who often held competitions to find designers for these new public cemeteries.

At Great Malvern the town saw considerable growth through the C18 and C19, particularly as a fashionable spa resort. This led to the inevitable problems with finding appropriate burial space and thus the Great Malvern Burial Board was established in the late 1850s with parishioners appointed to the board to investigate options for a new cemetery. They set about acquiring land for the new cemetery, and in the early 1860s held a competition for the design. This was won by the Cheltenham architect William Hill Knight, whose successful design proposed a pair of chapels standing in landscaped grounds, with a lodge at the entrance. Knight had already laid out Hereford Cemetery (1858), and was working on Bouncer's Lane Cemetery, Cheltenham at around the same time as Malvern, and would go on to design Shipston-on-Stour Cemetery (1863).

The chapels were laid out with the Anglican chapel to the east, and the Nonconformist chapel to the west. These were approached via a central drive from the entrance to the south. It appears that the central tower was added between 1873 and 1874 by Henry Haddon, it being of a different stone from the chapels, and with carving by William Forsyth of Worcester possibly carried out at the same time. It has been suggested that Haddon was also responsible for building the gates and boundary wall at this time. A stylistic comparison with WH Knight's roughly-contemporary gates at Cheltenham cemetery would seem, however, to suggest that the Malvern gates are by his hand, and of 1861, rather than by Haddon.

The small mortuary chapel which stands adjacent to the chapels was built by AC Baker in 1887.

The lodge has a rear extension in brick which appears to have been added in the mid-C20.

Reasons for Listing

The Lodge, Gates and Boundary Walls at Great Malvern Cemetery, of 1861-1863 by WH Knight, are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:
* The lodge building is a sophisticated example of mid-C19 cemetery lodge design, with good detailing in the Gothic style;
* The gates and boundary walls form a dignified and imposing entrance to the cemetery, contributing strongly to the overall design.

Historic interest:
* WH Knight is an accomplished architect, noted particularly for his cemetery design;
* The carved stone panels displaying the cemetery regulations are an unusual and attractive survival.

Group value:
* All the C19 buildings at Great Malvern Cemetery form a good group.

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