There were once some 34 graveyards within the old Manchester Township an area bordered by the Rivers Irwell and Medlock and out to the north taking in Ancoats and parts of Strangeways. Many of these graveyards are no longer marked or even remembered – quite a number have had the human remains moved and are longer graveyards, but others remain, at least two are now beneath car parks.
There are many stories, the sexton of one church is said to have dumped bodies from old graves to make way for the new in a crowded yard. In the limited time available some of these stories will inevitably be left out – such as the burial of the Manchester Ice Maiden and the man who was buried who had openly lived with his wife and concubine. There is also the clergyman looking to open a new church who was invited to dine with the Bishop and who was given a meal of pork because the church authorities felt he looked a little Jewish. The particular church in question became fashionable and is remembered today by a street name and bits of its graveyard may still lie beneath the pavement.
The talk will be illustrated including a picture from the City Engineers Department showing a cross section through a graveyard showing the disposition of the sewers and telephone cables that ran through the yard.