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Major Milestone at Sheffield General Cemetery Heritage Park

200 year old curved stone walls and catacombs with two pillars at the side of a flight of stone steps
The Egyptian Steps, the Catacombs, Sheffield General Cemetery.

Sheffield General Cemetery, one of Sheffield’s most fascinating locations, is celebrating the end of a four-year £3 million conservation and repair programme this month.

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery, the Council has carried out extensive structural repairs to the Cemetery’s famous catacombs, stabilised key monuments and provided support to the massive retaining walls which are now nearing 200 years old, ensuring the Cemetery can continue to be treasured and admired by future generations.

The conclusion of the current project completes a further step on the journey to celebrate the General Cemetery’s significance as a heritage treasure – “Sheffield’s Highgate” - whilst protecting its value as a tranquil green space and important wildlife habitat close to the city.

Cllr Richard Williams, Chair of Communities, Parks and Leisure Policy Committee, said “This is a really important milestone, building on the earlier restoration achievements of Sheffield General Cemetery Trust. The hard work of the projects team, the volunteers and the contractors has really paid off. The General Cemetery is such a well-loved space, it is a delight to welcome people back to enjoy it and see the results for themselves. 

“We will be marking the completion of the repair works and National Cemeteries Week with events and activities including the fascinating Celebrating Then and Now Exhibition at the Samuel Worth Chapel. Everyone is welcome to come and have a look for themselves to see what we’ve been up to and be part of the week, which runs from June Saturday 3rd to Sunday 11th June.”

The Sheffield General Cemetery opened in 1836 as a response to overcrowding and poor conditions in Sheffield’s churchyards. It was one of the earliest commercial cemeteries of its kind in the UK, conceived at a time when Sheffield was at the cutting-edge of cultural reform and technical innovation.  

The council has had responsibility for the General Cemetery since 1979 and benefits from the commitment of Sheffield General Cemetery Trust which has successfully restored two of its architectural gems – the Gatehouse and the Nonconformist Chapel. 

During the Covid pandemic when social gathering was not permitted, the Parks and Countryside Service shared the buried stories of Sheffield General Cemetery with new audiences and was recently recognised for its successful work at the APSE Cemeteries and Crematoria Innovation Awards 2023 for their downloadable audio trails produced in partnership with Sheffield General Cemetery Trust and funded by the National Lottery Parks for People programme.  The trail guides can be downloaded from the Trust’s website at where there is a link to the Izi Travel app which provides the audio content via a smart phone.

Information on future events, downloadable self-guided trails, videos and publications and how to become a volunteer or supporter are also on the Sheffield General Cemetery Trust website: