Moorgate Cemetery History: 20th Century
Moorgate Cemetery has been extended considerably since it was established 160 years ago. By the late 19th century it already covered seven acres of ground.
A 3rd extension covering 3142 sq yds was made in 1913, a 4th extension in 1937 and a final 5th extension in 1944.
Although the cemetery was hailed as an “Architectural Gem” by English Heritage , in common with many Victorian cemeteries it remains in a state of neglect and has suffered a considerable amount of vandalism.
Many of the old graves are overgrown with ivy and the inscriptions are illegible. Cemeteries today are recognised as havens for flora and fauna.
Unfortunately, Moorgate Cemetery does not have a conservation plan in place to resolve the conflict between removing the encroaching ivy and sapling trees, which in some cases, hide important inscriptions and disturbing the wildlife.
Conservation work is usually carried out by volunteers in many Victorian cemeteries.
In 1989 the windows in the gothic chapel were smashed by stones and air rifle pellets and although a minimum of work has been carried out, the chapel remains in a poor state of repair.
In 1994 vandals rampaged through the cemetery leaving a trail of destruction. Crosses on graves and headstones were pushed over and urns and vases damaged. Although a package of measures to install CCTV cameras in known ‘crime hotspots’ was approved by the council Moorgate Cemetery has still not been designated for any security measures.
Similarly the future of the two Gothic sandstone lodges at the entrance to the cemetery was in the balance in 1990 after vandalism and there were calls for their demolition. Fortunately the council decided they were of architectural merit and restoration work was carried out on them.
One of the lodges was subsequently sold and the other one is still owned by the Council. It is now recommended that the lodges should be given listed status.