Lawnswood Cemetery – Leeds, England - Atlas Obscura

Lawnswood Cemetery

This Victorian graveyard in Leeds is a macabre collection of beautiful tombs and memorials. 


By the early 19th century, overcrowding was becoming a major issue in urban church graveyards throughout England, and the first private and publicly funded cemeteries served to take on the overflow.

In the 1870s, when Saint Michael’s churchyard in the Leeds suburb of Headingley was nearing capacity, architect George Corson was offered the task of designing a new cemetery in the less populated neighborhood of Lawnswood. The cemetery opened in 1875, and Corson was buried there in 1910.

Lawnswood Cemetery has continued to be one of Leeds’ main cemeteries and crematoria since 1905, when it became the first crematorium in Leeds. The scenic graveyard just off the Leeds-Otley turnpike, designed by George Corson to harmonize with the surrounding scenery, is home to a number of beautiful Victorian statues and tombs and protected historic graves.

The tree-lined lot is home to 138 service members from World War I and 67 from World War II. There’s a small monument memorializing 105 service members once buried in the now defunct Leeds General Cemetery. The lodge’s central hall also features a memorial to service men cremated during the Second World War.

Know Before You Go

No car park but usually on-street parking close by. As the site is still used, please be respectful when visiting. There are a handful of buses that will take to just outside the main entrance from the city center. The journey will take less than 45 minutes. Opening times are seasonal, check prior to visiting to avoid disappointment.

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December 14, 2017

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