REGISTERED CHARITY NO: 1113731

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The Church Graveyard

The church of St John the Evangelist, Great Marsden, together with its churchyard, opened in 1848

Friends of St Johns Story

A community group of volunteers, set up following a public meeting in April 2005, whose aim is to restore and improve St. John's churchyard situated in Barkerhouse Road, Nelson, Lancashire

Commonwealth War Graves

Thirty one war graves commemorating the fallen of both World Wars are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, with involvement from the British Legion


St John’s Churchyard...

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The church of St John the Evangelist, together with its churchyard, opened in 1848 following a gift of land and funding for the building by two sisters Mrs Maw and Miss Walton of the Walton family from nearby Marsden Hall.
The area at the time was essentially a rural one, with the church serving the sparsely populated community of Great Marsden. The local population would have made a living from a mixture of farming, quarrying, coal mining and hand loom weaving.
Life in the area was a real struggle with much poverty, high infant mortality rates, epidemics, poor diets and low life expectancy.
The arrival of the railway in 1849 was key to the rapid growth of cotton mills, extensive house building and an increasingly urban population. Nelson was born. The Industrial Revolution had arrived!

…The town’s graveyard

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In the absence of another burial site in Great Marsden, the churchyard at St John’s became the last resting place for the majority of residents of the rapidly growing ‘boom’ town of Nelson. On several occasions the churchyard had to be extended into surrounding farmland to cope with the demand for burial space. The municipal cemetery was eventually opened on Walton Lane in 1895.
There are over 17,000 people of all denominations buried in over 7,000 graves in the six and a half acre churchyard.
Many had no connection with St John’s Church and many weren’t born in the immediate area but moved here from the middle of the nineteenth century when the cotton industry needed workers in the mills.
Over thirty war graves commemorating the fallen of both World Wars are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, with involvement from the British Legion.

Support the work of The Friends of St John's

Acknowledgements and Thanks for their support…

A charity set up in 2005 to restore and improve St. John's churchyard, Nelson, Lancashire

Churchyard Location

St John with St Philip Church
Barkerhouse Road
Nelson, Lancashire
BB9 9EY

Click for map.
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