Nottingham General Cemetery

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Nottingham General Cemetery' page
Photo:General Cemetery entrance

General Cemetery entrance

One of Nottingham's historic burial grounds

The Main Entrance to Nottingham General Cemetery is from Canning Terrace, on Canning Circus . There is a cemetery gatehouse flanked by almshouses (listed Grade II) which were designed by S. S. Rawlinson. There is another entrance on the opposite side the Cemetery, off Waverly Street .   

The General Cemetery is one of Nottingham ’s historic Closed Cemeteries - one that is no longer available for burials except to those who have purchased a current right of burial.

It dates from the 1830s, a time when many churchyards were becoming overcrowded, especially in towns and cities.  In most places, including Nottingham , private companies were being formed to run cemeteries, usually with some plots being set aside for pauper burials.

The Nottingham General Cemetery Company was set up by an Act of Parliament in 1836.  The company purchased 12 acres - the total cost of land, buildings and a chapel was £5,885. 

In 1856, the Nottingham Enclosure Act provided for the addition of  more land to the lower eastern side of the Cemetery, and a new entrance lodge and chapel for Dissenters were built.  The general Cemetery now covered a total of 18 acres.  

For many years the Nottingham General Cemetery Company was successful; it maximised its profits by burying people as closely together as possible. 

However, by 1923 over 150 000 people had been buried on the site.

The Medical Officer for Health raised concerns about dangers to public health if burials continued on the site and Nottingham Corporation brought a Bill before Parliament which, when passed,  effectively prevented further burials, apart from those of close relatives.

After the Second World War, theNottingham General Cemetery Company tried to persuade Nottingham Corporation to take over the running of the Cemetery but they refused. The Company went into voluntary liquidation and the Cemetery became the property of the Crown

During that period, with no maintenance or supervision, the Cemetery quickly deteriorated. In 1955, a Cemetery Action Committee was formed to save the Cemetery from further dereliction. 

The following year, the Crown passed responsibility for the Cemetery to Nottingham Corporation, selling them the freehold for 1 shilling (5p). 

The Cemetery became part of the Corporation’s Parks and Cemeteries Department. Over the next year or so a team of people worked hard to tame the area with flame guns, scythes, sickles and shovels; both chapels and the lower lodge were judged to be too dilapidated to save, and were demolished.


War memorials

There is an area for military burials situated by the Waverley Street entrance to the general Cemetery.  It was originally laid out for the burial of veterans of the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny, and during World War 1 it was used to bury war dead. By 1917 the designated area for military burials was almost full. The numbers of war dead in Nottingham was high and the General Cemetery was often used for military burials as it was close to a number of military hospitals set up during the War. 

At that time a decision was taken to bury 129 men together under a large, white limestone screen built on a raised plinth on which their names are carved.

A memorial to Nottinghamshire men who fought at the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War was unveiled in 2004.



This page was added by H W on 17/07/2012.
Comments about this page

I live in the U.S. but my great grand parents are buried in The General. Is there any way I can find out where their graves would be located? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

By Kevin Willbond
On 12/01/2021

Hi Kevin.  records for the Nottingham General Cemetery are held at the Nottinghamshire Archives.  Please email with your enquiry which will be passed to them.

By Website Administrator
On 12/01/2021

I have tried a few times to email the address. It does notwork. "Failure notice."

By Kevin Willbond
On 14/01/2021

Hi Kevin, sorry to hear you are having problems contacting AskInspire.  Does the following webpage link work for you?  You can then submit your enquiry from this page

By Website Administrator
On 14/01/2021

Hi Kevin. Try

By Richard
On 03/02/2021

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