ST JAMES'S CEMETERY
A review of our March meeting
On 13th March, the Liverpool Rangers had lively tales to tell of people and places connected to St James's Cemetery and its surroundings. The old stone quarry, with windmills north and south, became the burial ground for St James's Church, Parliament Street, in 1829. It was overlooked by the then-fashionable Gambier Terrace, where residents had a good view of funeral processions descending the quarry slopes.
The Oratory, originally a mortuary chapel, was built by John Foster, architect of the old Custom House, the Huskisson Memorial and St Andrew's Church in Rodney Street. Amongst the 57,774 people buried in the cemetery, over a period of 100 years, were William Huskisson M.P. (first victim of the railway), William Brown (who gave the city its museum and library), soldiers of the Crimean War, and 36 passengers and crew of the 'Ellen Vannin' which sank in Liverpool Bay in 1909.
The waters from the old spring - now sadly neglected - were once advertised as a cure for all ills. On the Mount, above the quarry, stands Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral. Building began in 1903, the distinctive red stone being supplied by the Marquess of Salisbury who owned Woolton quarry. Giles Gilbert Scott, a Roman Catholic, won the competition for its design, at age 22. He chose to be buried just outside the main entrance of this, his finest building; but did he realise that the stone slab marking the spot would be in the middle of the car park access road?