Why I love … Holbeck Cemetery

[slideshow]OK, I admit some people might find it all a bit strange. Above everything else in south Leeds, you want to write an article about your love for a … Victorian cemetery?

Yes, but it’s no ordinary cemetery. Holbeck Cemetery is a tranquil place, a place of great beauty – and of great history. I hope the photos above give you an idea of what it’s like – I believe it’s one of south Leeds’ hidden gems.

The stunning views over Holbeck, the city centre, the west of the city and beyond from the viewing point is one of my favourite all-time views of the city.

Here’s a short history lesson:

  • Holbeck Cemetery contains 65 First World War burials and 21 from the Second World War, all scattered. A Cross of Sacrifice stands by the cemetery entrance.
  • The Victorian city fathers created these city cemeteries driven in part by the profit motive, thinking that when the overcrowded parish graveyards were of necessity closed they would have a monopoly.
  • There are lots of former Leeds Lord Mayors buried in the grounds

Next time you’re in the area, by all means spend some time in popular Cross Flatts Park – but then cross over Beeston Road at the top and admire the beauty of the cemetery and the incredible views. It’s a lovely, tranquil green haven where you can just lose yourself for an hour or so. And discover more about the area’s history – you’s be surprised what you might find.

Oh, and don’t forget the wonderful folks at the Friends of Holbeck Cemetery group – which looks out for the cemtery and runs tours etc – are now blogging. Check out their blog here.

Ardent South Leeds Life readers might remember that last year we started the ‘Why I love …’ series of posts and featured Middleton Woods, community spirit in Beeston and Cross Flatts Park. We think it’s good to shout about the good things about the area and would welcome contributions from YOU, our readers, as we restart the series. Shout about the things you love about the area – it doesn’t have to be lomng and photos are welcome. Email southleedslife@gmail.com with your stories or shout out if you need any help or have an idea you want to run past us. We look forward to hearing from you!