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Sale (Brooklands), Dunham Lawn and Urmston Cemeteries

All records from Trafford Council’s cemetries are now on the database

Full details of Dunham Lawn Cemetery, Sale Cemetery, and Urmston Cemetery have now been uploaded to the Deceased Online website joining records for Hale (Altrincham) and Stretford cemeteries. Although all are situated in the Trafford area of Greater Manchester, the three latest editions are quite distinct.

The oldest is Sale Cemetery, also known as Sale Brooklands after its Cheshire location. The Brooklands area is named after a local businessman, Samuel Brooks, who bought a plot of land there in 1856. Sale Cemetery opened in Marsland Road a few years later on 29 August 1862. The popular Gothic Revival style of the High Victorian period is still much in evidence in the cemetery through numerous memorials, the lodge by the entrance, and the disused chapels.

Dr. James Prescott Joule (1818-1889)
The cemetery contains the grave of one of Britain's most renowned physicists, Dr. James Prescott Joule.  Joule was born in Salford on Christmas Eve 1818 to a wealthy local brewer and his wife. When he turned 16, the young James was sent to study under the eminent chemist John Dalton. Joule is remembered today mainly for the eponymous SI unit of energy which he determined in 1840, but before this he invented electrical welding and the displacement pump. His work was much celebrated during his lifetime, with Joule being awarded the Royal and Copley medals by the Royal Society and honorary degrees from Dublin, Oxford, and Edinburgh. Joule remained loyal to his Manchester roots and from 1872 lived at 12 Wardle Road in Sale. He died there on 11 October 1889, and was buried five days later. John Benjamin Dancer (1812-1887), the Manchester instrument maker who supplied much of the equipment for Joule's early experiments and is celebrated as the founder of microphotography, is also buried in Sale Cemetery.

Burial register entry for James Prescott Joule (3rd line down)
 Like the man himself, Joule's headstone is modest, marked simply by the number 772 - the weight in pounds of the force that Joule deduced was the mechanical equivalent of heat - and the following Biblical passage:

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work
John 9: 4

As mentioned in last week's post, the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst is buried in Brompton Cemetery in London (records soon to be available on Deceased Online). However, she and her family lived for many years in the Manchester area and her barrister husband, Richard Marsden Pankhurst (1834-1898), is buried in Sale Cemetery, alongside his parents.  

Urmston Cemetery opened in Queens Road, Urmston in 1892. Also known as Queen’s Road Cemetery, the burial ground was part of the Manor of Urmston. The manor house, Urmston Old Hall, was demolished in 1937. The area has ancient associations, with fragments of pottery being found here in 1983 by the South Trafford Archaeological Group.

Dunham Lawn Cemetery lies in landscaped gardens in Whitehouse Lane, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. Opened in 1963, headstones were forbidden in the grave area until 1985, with only memorial plaques allowed in the chapel.

If you find an ancestor in the database and wish to visit the burial place, full details on opening hours can be found at the Trafford Council website: Do be aware that Sale Cemetery was designed around a complex butterfly plan. Exact burial locations can be found using the grave maps in the database.

The cremation records from Altrincham Crematorium will be online soon, completing the data from Trafford Council. Watch out for updates on our Twitter and Facebook pages!

C. Brooks, Mortal Remains (1989)


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