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Flaybrick Memorial Gardens

Flaybrick Memorial Gardens was originally planned to open in 1843 due to rapid growth in Birkenhead
population.  Local Architect
Joseph Paxton was approached to design the cemetery.  However the
cemetery did not open until the 1864 when Birkenhead population exploded but also due partly to
Wirrals financial situation.  A competition was held for the design which Edward Kemp, a pupil of
Paxtons and Curator of Birkenhead Park won.  Kemp was assisted by Edward Mills, a prominent
Birkenhead surveyor from Hamilton Square, and Messrs Lucy and Littler, architects of Liverpool. The
general contractor was William Rimmer of Bidston Hall, with John Miller of St. Helens the contractor for
buildings.   The cemetery was built on a local land mark Flaybrick hill.  The hill boasted great view
across Bidston Hill and the surrounding low lying areas.   Three Chapels were built within the grounds
of the cemetery, the Roman Catholic Chapel, the Church of England Chapel and the Chapel for non
conformists.    The Roman Catholic Chapel was demolished, now only a memorial stands in its place.  
The two remaining chapels sit proudly but show the scars of age and neglect.  The cemetery was
originally 16.5 acres of land but was expanded by a further 10 acres in the 1890 due to an ever
increasing population.  The additional 10 acres of the cemetery was built upon a sandstone quarry
used heavily for the building of places such as St James Church,  and other local architecture.  The
walls of the cemetery are also made from the stone mined from the quarry.  

Flaybrick cemetery boasts some of Wirral finest Victorian architecture, including Celtic, Dutch and  
Asian influences.  The graves, still in good order for the most; bear much detail about the inhabitant
of its grave.  In most cases small portions of people lives are written onto the headstones.  The
cemetery is home to many of Wirrals most famous residents including Isaac Roberts, AT Doodson and
the infamous Lock ah Tam.  In addition to this many of the famous Laird family are laid to rest here.

The Gardens are open every day until 6pm, for pedestrian access only. Visitors are welcome to use
the adjacent Tam O'Shanter complex for car parking, Cafeteria and toilet facilities.  Guided walks and
other event details may be found on the notice board by the main gates. Copies of the leaflet, self
guide trails and further information are available from the Ranger's Office at Tam O Shanter Farm.  
Telephone 0151 653 9332.  The Gardens are situated on Tollemache Road, Birkenhead, Wirral,
Merseyside, England, close to Junction 1 M53.

The following pictures are a selection of graves within Flaybrick cemetery.  All photographs are kindly
provided by
www.pharmcat.demon.co.uk