About the cemetery
Since being in the care and stewardship of a charitable trust, Ford Park Cemetery has raised its profile as an unrivalled asset for the city of Plymouth and local community.
The 34 acre Victorian cemetery is a place to honour and remember the dead but it is also serving the living as a beautiful green open space and a unique classroom where the extraordinary stories of those interred there are inspiring and informing local people and visitors about the history of the maritime city.
The oldest quarter has been listed as a Grade II landscape in the Register of Parks and Gardens of Historic Interest.Chapels lie at the heart of cemeteries – and Ford Park has two of them! One was rebuilt on the exact footprint of the original Nonconformist Chapel, destroyed by air attack in October 1940. This chapel has hosted many events including a wedding blessing.
The blitzed chapel was virtually a replica of the Church of England chapel, which is Grade II Listed. Built from limestone, with softer Caen stone for the carvings, it has Decorated Gothic Revival Style architecture and was completed in early 1849. Both the original chapels were designed by architects JR Hamilton and James Medland. The foundation stone was laid on 5 August 1847, the occasion being marked by the gift of a quarter pound of tea to each employee.
In the year 2000 this cemetery was saved from closure when local people campaigned the gates to be kept open. A charitable trust was set up and the immeasurable contribution of volunteers and supporters has transformed the site from a vandalized overgrown eyesore into a much loved place which has a promising future.
The Trust recognised that relying on funerals and internments alone would not be enough for the cemetery to flourish. With this in mind Ford Park Cemetery Trust has embarked on an ambitious £600,000 regeneration project called Rejuven8.
The Rejuven8 project funded by grants and public donations starts in January 2009. It will breathe new life in to the currently derelict Grade II Listed Victorian Gothic Revival chapel as a community venue and create a heritage centre in another chapel on site with a focus on Plymouth in Victorian times and the Second World War. This project is scheduled for completion in autumn 2009.
As well as being a special place to remember and honour the dead, Ford Park cemetery is developing as a place of learning and natural beauty. The cemetery appeals to different people for different reasons – for some it is a walk to get in touch with the season or for quiet reflection, some make a connection with their family or local history and others enjoy the social gatherings we host including guided tours, musical concerts and exhibitions.
In 2005 the achievements of the volunteers was acknowledged with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which is the highest honour Her Majesty bestows on a group or organisation.
Ford Park Cemetery Trust
Plymouth Ford Park Road