Nellfield is quite an old city cemetery, having been laid
out by 1836. It is located just to the west of the city centre and bounded by Great Western
Road, Nellfield Crescent and Holburn Street. This walled graveyard is
hardly seen from the perimeter and is frequently overlooked by those who
walk past it every day. Access is via the main entrance on Great Western
Road. You used to be able to enter via Holburn Street or a smaller gate
further along Great
Western Road, but these entrances seem to have been
The cemetery is laid out in three walled sections,
starting with the oldest near the front entrance and graduating to the
most recent stones at the far end of the cemetery adjacent to Nellfield
Crescent. What strikes you in this cemetery is the silence.
Considering it is next to a main road close to the city centre it is
very quiet within the high walls. There are approximately 4200
headstones to be found in this resting place with many good examples of
Victorian masonry. The vast majority are however 20th century in the
predominant stone of the area - grey granite. On a sunny day these glint
and sparkle in a most uplifting way.
This is a very well maintained cemetery in very good
condition, though some of the trees really need to be cut
back or replaced as they have become too large for their location,
putting some stones into permanent gloom.
The cemetery is extensively laid out in roses which turns it into a
virtual paradise when they are in bloom (about August). The downside of
this strategy is that the plots look fairly drab for the rest of the year,
though the grass is always lovely.
Parking close by is difficult. I would recommend parking further down
Holburn Street and walking up. It's not far and will set the scene.
Alternatively closer by there is parking on Nellfield Crescent - though you
have to pay there!
One of our best city centre cemeteries, with a number of older
interesting stones. Finding them can involve a lot of exploring (mainly
in the first section), but its well worth the effort.
Additional - read about the Nellfield scandal of
1899 when up to 300 graves were desecrated. Detail on my
Odds & Ends 2 page.
If you require a specific gravestone photo from the above send me your relevant details and
I'll e-mail you what I have. Contact me
Click on photos below to enlarge