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Wrexham Cemetery - A Visitors Guide

Wrexham Cemetery is located on Ruabon Road, Wrexham, and covers an area of 7.2 hectares. The layout of the cemetery was designed by Yeo Strachan, the then Borough Surveyor of Wrexham. Originally consisting of 10 acres immediately to the rear of the cemetery chapel, the cemetery was designed as a 'garden cemetery' for the 'passive recreation of the people of the Borough'.

During Victorian times, walking through cemeteries was a popular pastime. Most of the original layout has been preserved and features much of the original tree planting undertaken by Strachan. The Cemetery Chapel was designed by John Turner and is now a Grade II listed building. Wrexham Cemetery acts as the main burial site for Wrexham, 37,000 burials have taken place at the cemetery since its opening in 1876, with current operation levels being 200 burials per year.

Please also see Bereavement Frequently Asked Questions and Wrexham Cemetery Burial Records Search Facility

Wrexham Cemetery - A Brief History

The cemetery was opened for burials in April 1876.

The layout of the cemetery was designed by Yeo Strachan, the then Borough Surveyor of Wrexham. Originally consisting of 10 acres immediately to the rear of the cemetery chapel, the cemetery was designed as a 'garden cemetery' for the passive recreation of the people of the Borough.

Most of the original layout has been preserved and features much of the original tree planting undertaken by Strachan.

Over the years the cemetery boundaries have been extended. Firstly to the line of Lombard Poplars, which bisect the grounds, separating the older sections from the present lawned burial sections. Latterly to the present boundary enclosing the areas in use from the 1970's onwards.

The cemetery chapel and entrance lodge, were designed by the architect, William Turner, a former Mayor of the Borough. A number of the cemetery features, including the chapel, the cemetery lodge, and the pillared entrance gates, are designated Grade II Listed buildings.

The grave memorials located within the original Victorian sections of the cemetery are also Listed as being of architectural interest.

Opening Times

The cemetery is open to the public during the following times:

The entrance gates to the grounds are closed 15 minutes before the official closing time, to allow staff the ability to secure the buildings and premises prior to locking the gates at the appointed time.

1 April to 31 October

1 November to 31 March

Vehicles

Visitors may park vehicles in the forecourt fronting the cemetery chapel during opening hours.

Except as part of a funeral cortege, motor vehicles are not allowed within the cemetery grounds except with the permission of the authority.

Except when a funeral cortege is due or on-site, a maximum of 5 vehicles displaying a current EU recognised 'Blue Badge' will be admitted.

All vehicle drivers are asked to observe a maximum speed limit of 5 mph.

Vehicle Insurance

All vehicle drivers should be aware that their insurers may not provide cover for risk whilst the vehicle is on council property.

Funeral Arrangements

In the majority of instances, those making arrangements for the burial of a loved one will do so through the services of a professional Funeral Director.

However, the Cemetery Superintendent (please see contact information), will be pleased to assist and advise those wishing to make private funeral arrangements.

Burial Rights

The 'Exclusive Right of Burial' to a graveplot can be purchased from the authority as part of the funeral arrangements. Please note, there are no 'new graves' in Wrexham Cemetery on Ruabon Road, only at Plas Acton Cemetery in Pandy. The Grant of Burial Rights is for 99 years from the date of purchase.

The Burial Rights to the following types of graveplot are available:-

A full size grave plot, once the available burial spaces have been utilised, may continue to be available for the interment of cremated remains.

The purchase of the Exclusive Right of Burial to a grave plot includes the Right to Erect a Memorial on the grave (subject to the authority's memorial regulations).

The authority also provides free interment within a 'public' grave for adults and infants. Infant 'public' graves are located within an area of the cemetery specifically dedicated for the interment of infants.

Memorials

Many of the memorials in the older parts of the cemetery are fine examples of the stone mason's art, featuring intricate carving and decoration.

In the newer, lawned, sections of the cemetery, the authority imposes no restrictions on design other than overall height and thickness of stone.

A natural stone memorial is a lasting commemoration which, if properly installed and regularly maintained, will last for many generations.

All memorials should be made and installed by a qualified stonemason who is able to offer a guarantee of his/her work. It is recommended that grave owners should have their memorial insured against theft, loss, or damage.

Once installed, the memorial should be inspected and cleaned at least annually. Inscriptions may need attention every 4 or 5 years. It is recommended that grave owners engage the services of the memorial supplier to carry out ongoing maintenance and cleaning.

Memorials - Responsibility of Owners

Grave owners have a responsibility to ensure that any memorial or other item placed on the grave complies with the council's memorial regulations, and does not constitute a hazard.

In particular, grave owners should not use breakable glass or porcelain containers or enclose the grave surface with easily broken trip hazards such as plastic or timber fencing.

Where a memorial or other item on a grave, either through its condition, the materials used, or the manner of its construction, has been identified as posing a risk, the council has a responsibility under Health & Safety legislation to reduce that risk.

Unfortunately, this often means that the item has to be removed or the memorial laid down on the grave surface where it will pose less of a risk. The authority will always seek to contact memorial owners to notify them of the action taken and why. For this reason, grave owners are requested to keep the Authority advised with regards to change of address.

Family History Research

A computerised record of all interments from 1876 to the present day is maintained in the cemetery office, and, during normal working hours, cemetery staff will try to assist visitors seeking to locate graves.

For deeper research purposes, access to original cemetery records and registers can be gained by appointment with the Superintendent.

A copy of the computerised burial records covering the period 1876 to 1989 can be accessed via Wrexham County Borough Museum, which also operates a family history research unit to assist those trying to locate sources of information on births and deaths.

War Graves

Two memorials commemorate Wrexham citizens who died from wounds received during active service with the British and Commonwealth armed forces. There is also a designated section maintained on behalf of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission containing the marked graves of individual service personnel.

In addition, a memorial located near to the entrance of the cemetery commemorates the many Polish service personnel who are interred in the cemetery and who fought alongside British forces in World War II.

Cemetery Maintenance - How you can play your part

The authority does not seek to impose unnecessary restrictions on cemetery users. However, we ask grave owners and visitors to observe the following for the benefit of everyone:

Cemetery Office

The cemetery office is located on the ground floor of the Cemetery Lodge at the main cemetery gates on Ruabon Road, Wrexham.

Telephone: 01978 263159

If staff are not available to take your call, or your call is made outside normal working hours, an answering machine will record your message. If you leave your name and telephone number, your call will be returned as soon as is practicable.

Visitors are asked to note that the Cemetery Lodge, located at the main entrance on Ruabon Road, is occupied by private tenants who are not employed in the cemetery service. Please do not disturb the occupiers except in an emergency.

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