This cemetery was opened on the northern side of Stafford by Stafford Borough Council in 1856. The first burial to take place was that of George Jennings. He was aged 20 months and the son of a local shoemaker; the funeral took place on 21 February 1856.
The cemetery was built alongside a railway line which ran between Uttoxeter in the east of Staffordshire and the main central line station in Stafford town centre. Railway services were withdrawn at the end of the Second World War as motor vehicle use increased nationwide. However, the railway lines remained in place for many years after the end of the War. In the event of war breaking out again, it was intended to re-open them as a vital link for supplies to and from the vast (former) RAF base located in Stafford, which is now the home of an Army Signals Regiment.
The cemetery was designed with two chapel buildings on site. The larger one, a Church of England chapel, and the other one for general use. The chapels were in use up to the 1960’s. In 1964 the cemetery was opened at Stafford Crematorium and services were conducted in the chapel there.
As Eccleshall Road Cemetery developed over the years additional land was acquired on the other side of the railway line, the terminology within the Service was then introduced “The Old Side” and "The New Side”.
Burials continued for many more years until the early 1980’s when all new burials were then transferred to the Tixall Road Cemetery.
To bring this valuable public asset back into the community an area within the new side of the cemetery was identified which can accommodate new grave spaces. In 2014 a new system was installed in an area where it was not previously possible to excavate graves safely. The new system consists of pre-formed grave chambers which are buried in the ground forming a solid walled chamber. As with all other conventional graves they are excavated when a burial is requested. The big advantage is that the shoring is already in place. This enables safe excavation burials can continue for many years to come. For more information contact Bereavement Services.
In 2018 Eccleshall Road Cemetery was awarded a ‘Green Flag’ – the national yardstick for the best parks and open spaces. The cemetery joins three other local venues to be awarded the ‘Flag’ – the crematorium and Victoria Park, both in Stafford, and Stonefield Park in Stone being the others.
There are plans to renovate the two chapels on the site and the Friends of Stafford Cemeteries are working with the council to see how this can be progressed. If you would like more information about the chapels or the work of the Friends group, you can follow them on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/FriendsofStaffordCemeteries/.
We are very interested in the views of Stafford residents regarding Eccleshall Road Cemetery. We would be grateful if you could spare a few minutes to complete this short survey.