The Public Health Report of 1849 makes grim reading when describing the state of Bacup’s, Burial Grounds. “I never saw burial grounds in a more objectionable condition than some in Bacup” said William Lee, the Superintendent Inspector who carried out the survey. Just under ten years later, the Home Office issued instructions that there were to be no more burials in St John’s churchyard other than in family vaults as a consequence, the local board formed its own burial board. However four years elapsed between receiving the Home Office notice and the opening of the cemetery at Fairwell, which takes its name from the farm that stands on land behind the cemetery. By this time in 1862, there were more than 7,000 people buried in St John’s churchyard plus those at Ebenezer, an estimate of 12,000, all buried within a few yards of Bacup centre. The first person to be buried in the new cemetery on April 12th 1862 was a married woman by the name of Hannah Haworth of Britannia aged 46. Today, nothing remains of the three chapels that once stood in the cemetery grounds. The first chapel as you entered the cemetery from Brunswick Terrace was the Roman Catholic chapel, which was built in 1869 and demolished in 1985. The Church of England Chapel stood next to the area that houses today’s cenotaph; this was demolished in the 1970s. The General Nonconformist chapel stood where the last car park is today, this was demolished in the 1960s. Along with the churches, the cemetery had its own ornamental fountain and greenhouses. It’s hard to imagine today what the cemetery probably looked like when it was new. In death men who had faithfully served their country in battle were accorded military honours on their graves. Bacup Cemetery gives testimony to many brave local soldiers. A pair of crossed sabers marks the grave of Sergeant Instructor Henry Rogers who saw service at the battles of Alma and Inkerman during the Crimean War. Many of these more elaborate stones are no longer visible having been vandalised years ago, there are still odd ones to catch ones attention such has the grave of Private Fred Riding, Bacups first Great War burial in 1915.  By February 1925, the Cross of Sacrifice had been erected, constructed from Bolton Wood Stone it stands at 14ft 6ins high and a privet hedge was planted at the same time. Erected under the control of the Imperial War Graves Commission, whose name changed in 1960, to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the work on the cross was carried out by Mr H Hargreaves who had his workshop at the cemetery gates.   Just over twenty years later, Bacup was once again mourning the loss of young men and in March 1947 the Imperial War Graves Commission began erecting war grave headstones on those graves in Fairwall Cemetery of the 23 men who had died through wounds or illness during the Second World War
The entrance gates to the Fairwall from Brunswick terrace. Complete plan of the cemtery. The Non Comformist Chapel that once stood in the cemetery. Fairwell Cemetery Home The Giddy Meadow Health & Hygiene Trades & Professions Transport Wartime Leisure & Social Stacksteads Links Private Fred Ridings crossed rifles headstone. Fred Ridings Funeral Cortege passes through Bacup on way to cemetery.