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Decision Summary

This building has been assessed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest. The asset currently does not meet the criteria for listing. It is not listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended.

Name: Calderstones Hospital Cemetery

Reference Number: 1454383


Grounds of former long stay Learning Disability hospital comprising cemetery where many former patients are buried. Remains of grave monuments and associated gate house etc. Easting: 372210 Northing: 437127

The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lancashire
District: Ribble Valley
District Type: District Authority
Parish: Whalley

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Decision Date: 01-Feb-2018


Reasons for currently not Listing the Building


An application has been received to list Calderstones Hospital Cemetery, Whalley. Planning permission for demolition has been granted, with replacement by a crematorium (planning consent given in 2009, re-confirmed 2011-2012, a caveat to the previous permission was granted in 2014). Works were already underway at the time the application was received.

The cemetery is not in a conservation area and is not associated with any listed buildings. It has not previously been assessed for listing. There is an adjoining east section containing Commonwealth war graves, which is unaffected by the demolition.


In 1915 Queen Mary’s Military Hospital was opened. Thirty-three soldiers died at the hospital and were buried in an associated military cemetery to the north-east of the hospital buildings (a war memorial in the cemetery records their names). The hospital was subsequently known as Whalley Asylum and from 1929 it became Calderstones Hospital, a long-stay learning disability hospital. The hospital cemetery was laid out adjacent to the earlier military cemetery. Just under 1,000 individuals who lived in Calderstones were buried in the cemetery, with the last burial probably occurring in the early 1970s.

The rectangular cemetery was laid out with crossed paths and an entrance lych-gate flanked by two small mortuary chapels (Roman Catholic and Church of England) at the west end. The longitudinal path continued into the military cemetery at the east end. Historic photographs show that stone headstones were set out in a grid. The two similar mortuary chapels are small rectangular buildings with double-pitched, slate roofs. They are built of orange brick with sandstone dressings to the square-headed windows, with half-timbering to the inner gable apexes. The lych-gate is timber with a slate gablet roof.

In 2008 the chapels were vandalised. A contemporary newspaper article (Lancashire Telegraph, 10 July 2008) reported that all the windows were smashed, doors were ripped off, ceilings pulled down, pews torn apart and a stone font toppled. A stone memorial at the bottom of the cemetery was also smashed.

At the time of the application, the lych-gate and two mortuary chapels remain, and the applicant states that there are fragments of grave stones, though the majority appear to have been removed. New, wide access driveways with concrete kerbs have been partially constructed.


Buildings in cemeteries, such as the mortuary chapels and lych-gate, may be listed if they demonstrate the statutory criteria of special architectural or historic interest. Historic England’s guidance states that specific considerations when assessing the chapels include architectural interest and context to determine their interest, and for the lych-gate include an association with an architect of note, or a design interest of a high order, and group value with a listed building, usually a church. The whole cemetery would not be assessed for listing as it is counted as a landscape, which is registered rather than listed. An application could be made for registration, but would be unlikely to succeed as C20 funerary landscapes need to demonstrate innovation and rarity of design, and intactness.

With regard to buildings, judged against the criteria of architectural interest and historic interest (Principles of Selection for Listing Buildings, March 2010), and the considerations in our supplementary guidance, the two mortuary chapels and the lych-gate do not merit listing for the following principal reasons:

Degree of architectural interest:

* the inter-war chapels are relatively plain and standard for their date; together with the lych-gate, the group lacks the quality of design interest to demonstrate the special architectural interest required for listing;

* the chapels are no longer intact, having been seriously vandalised, which has resulted in damage to the buildings and their fixtures and fittings.

Degree of historic interest:

* neither the lych-gate or the chapels are known to have any association with an architect of note;

* whilst there is a social history interest as a place of memory associated with a very particular community of residents with learning disabilities whose long-term home was the hospital, this is not sufficient alone without the special architectural interest to recommend listing.

Degree of group value:

* the lack of intactness of the overall cemetery damages the context of the buildings, which also individually lack architectural interest or a relationship with any other listed buildings, and so do not demonstrate group value in the listing context.


Although possessing some claims to interest, Calderstones Hospital Cemetery, does not meet the criteria for listing the buildings in the national context.

National Grid Reference: SD7282437585

This copy shows the entry on 29-May-2020 at 11:12:14.