Memorial Garden celebration

Published Friday 26 August 2016 at 13:14

A special service is taking place to celebrate a memorial garden in Blackburn.

The service on Thursday, September 1 will see the Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, mark the re-committal of bodies to the memorial gardens at the new Freckleton Street Link Road – Wainwright Way. Interested people are able to attend the service.

The land was formerly the burial ground at the old St Peter’s Church on Freckleton Street.

Last year, remains in the graveyard of Blackburn – residents from the 1800s – were temporarily removed by archaeologists, Headland, while the new road was finished, and have been re-interred and will be remembered in this special ceremony.

The Service will start at 12pm on September 1 and will last for approximately 30 minutes.  It takes place at the Memorial Garden at the former St Peter’s Street burial ground, Wainwright Way, Blackburn, on the side close to Freckleton Street.

Everyone is welcome to attend the service, and parking is available on Byrom Street Car Park next to the memorial gardens.

The new memorial gardens, which feature on each side of Wainwright Way within the burial ground, are also complete and are open to the public.  The memorial gardens feature some of the gravestones that were recovered from part of the burial ground which add some historic value.

Headland Archaeology Ltd was commissioned to undertake a programme of archaeological investigations at the St Peter’s burial ground and the work was commissioned by Capita on behalf of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

An integrated team of up to 35 archaeologists, surveyors, osteologists, and exhumation specialists worked at the site.

St Peter’s burial ground was opened in 1821 and saw intense use until around 1860.  Headland’s work included the recording and removal of visible memorial stones; sensitive exhumation of around 30% of the burial ground and the full excavation of the foundations of St Peter’s Church.

Councillor Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said:

This will be a fitting way to mark the end of the delicate work which took place at the memorial garden.  I am really pleased we are holding this and that the Bishop of Blackburn is leading the service with families of the deceased in attendance.”

Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn said:

I will be privileged to preside at the memorial service at St Peter’s Churchyard in Blackburn town centre.

We will gather on September 1 out of respect for those whose earthly remains have been re-interred in a new resting place and out of respect for their relatives and descendants who hold them in high regard.

You do not need to be a relative of one of the deceased to attend the memorial service however.  We encourage anyone who wants to pay their respects to come along at noon on the day.

Bishop Julian added:

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support given to this major project, particularly in the light of the sensitivities involved.  I am grateful for the care taken by contractors and archaeologists in overseeing the work to ensure this will continue to be a site of remembrance for future generations.”


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