I have to admit that I really love historic cemeteries… is that weird? It’s mostly from a history nerd perspective, looking at the graves and wondering who the people were and what they did in their lives. Plus, there’s something really (gothically) pleasing about weathered gravestones and ivy; it’s just made for black and white photography!
It’s kind of surprising, then, that I’ve never been to Linthorpe Cemetery. Luckily, as spring began to timidly raise its head after all the snow, I righted that wrong when Claire and I went on the Middlesbrough heritage trail, which includes Linthorpe Cemetery.
And what a joy it was!
Linthorpe Cemetery is the oldest ‘working’ cemetery in Middlesbrough, which presumably means the oldest cemetery which is still used as a cemetery – for example, there used to be one on Linthorpe Road, at Ayresome Gardens, which has been built on and is no longer used.
I’m reliably told by the internet (alright, Wikipedia) that the oldest burials date back to 1869, but in the Quaker burial section, burials date back to 1668. Noteworthy Middlesbrough residents buried in Linthorpe Cemetery include John Forbes, a baker, who had the Forbes Buildings on Linthorpe Road built, and Thomas Dormand Stewart, the Councillor who purchased the land which later became Stewart Park, for the benefit of Middlesbrough residents.
Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to find those particular graves on our heritage walk, but that’s a fantastic excuse to go back again!
Linthorpe Cemetery is also a nature reserve, which means if you’re lucky (and quiet and still), you’ll see all manner of birds flitting around. I saw a robin, and that was more than enough for me – although I wouldn’t have said no to seeing an owl! As I said, it was still early in the year, but we did spot some lovely spring flowers!
So there you go! I’d 100% advise you to get yourselves for a nice walk in Linthorpe Cemetery, and as always, we’d love to see your photos!