HISTORY OF THE CEMETERY

Cathays Cemetery, in the heart of Cardiff, is the third largest municipal cemetery in the UK, covering some 110 acres, and is owned and managed by Cardiff City Council.

The cemetery was opened in 1859 when it was designated both as a place of burial and “as space was limited in the Victorian era“ as a pleasant environment in which to walk.

Originally there were two chapels in the cemetery, one was for the Episcopalian denominations and one for Nonconformists. A Catholic chapel was built a few years later.

The two Protestant chapels stand next to each other, each with its own archway to receive the hearse. Following the funeral, the cortage would leave to go to the area of the cemetery set aside for the different persuasions.

The Catholic chapel was located in the Catholic part of the cemetery. It was demolished for safety reasons in the 1980's.

For two decades or more the two remaining chapels had also fallen into a state of disrepair, and were cordoned off for safety reasons for many years. But in 2009 the roofs were restored both inside and out. And it's these two chapels that the Friends wish to see fully restored. The task though is immense and represents the biggest challenge to the Friends of Cathays Cemetery.