Agecroft Mortuary Chapel, Salford
Some historical background first:
Agecroft Cemetery was opened in 1903, and to date more than 53,700 interments have been carried out within the 45 acres of grounds. Agecroft is the newest of the city's cemeteries, being opened to accommodate additional new grave space due to the full utilisation of Weaste Cemetery. The cemetery contains the war graves of 160 Commonwealth service personnel of both of the 20th century's world wars.
In the grounds is this large disused mortuary chapel with a clock tower. It is now derelict and hidden by trees. It is listed as a heritage building at risk by the Victorian Society.
From the Victorian Society website:
Its walls shrouded by ivy, a mortuary chapel looms high over a Salford cemetery. Closed and effectively abandoned in the 1980s, the Grade II chapel is listed because of its architectural importance and rarity, its significance for local people and the landscape.
Built in 1903 by Sharpe & Foster, the building has many unique features. Designed in Perpendicular Gothic, it also shows the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement, and Art Nouveau in its stained glass windows.
The chapel now faces its greatest challenge: it has no immediately obvious viable use. Add this to difficulties over access, high costs of repair and public access, and the future seems bleak. At the very least Salford City Council, who recently upgraded and refurbished Agecroft’s crematorium at some expense, should arrange for the chapel’s repair before something uglier than neglect comes calling.
This Chapel of over a hundred years old certainly does seemed beyond repair once inside. having no obvious use except as a mass breeding ground for Mancunian pidgeons its future seems doomed to one of rapid decline and ruin. Dangerous inside as masonary falls at intervals - besides the need for dodging pidgeon droppings - it succumbs to nature and the natural ageing process. The stain glass windows suprisingly are mainly intact and add a strange illluminous green colour cast to the interior whilst the exterior is a mass of thick bushes which hide the chapel but for the clock tower jutting out inyo the sky as a reminder of a once fully functioning chapel.
There isn't too much to photograph but I still deemed it worth to shoot as a documentation of what used to be and a little part of our heritage. In the meantime, the pidgeons carry on regardless as its fate is decided, whether by humans or nature itself.