On the 8th September the Friends of Spital Chapel gave a fascinating tour of Spital Cemetery, Chesterfield.
Spital Cemetery was the second public cemetery to open in Derbyshire after Derby. The chapels, winding paths, trees, hillside site and flower carvings all give this Victorian Garden Cemetery its unique character and there have been over 26,000 burials in the time it has been open.
The cemetery, of eight acres, with two mortuary chapels, was opened in Spital in 1857 at a cost of £6,000. The contractors were Messrs. Coates and Burrows of Chesterfield. On the 1st Edition 25" Ordinance Survey Map of c.1880, the two chapels situated in Spital Cemetery are clearly marked. The northern most chapel was a Dissenter's chapel, the other was an Episcopal chapel.
George Bidlake and Henry Lovatt of Wolverhampton won a competition to design the 'Cemetery Church and Chapel', also the entrance gate piers, the arch in the cemetery wall and the Lodge where the superintendent lived and worked. All are now Grade II listed. The chapels are no longer used for services.