Agecroft Chapel, Salford

Watching over the dead – and near death itself

Photo Credit: The Victorian Society.

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.

It is also tall: this makes it much more of a landmark than most cemetery chapels.

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.

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