Preston Cemetery

Prior to the middle of the nineteenth century, burial grounds of different religions were scattered all over the borough so Tynemouth corporation decided that the time had come to build one central cemetery. Land measuring 33 acres was purchased from Mr. John Fenwick of North Shields from the grounds of Preston Villa for this purpose. The cemetery was opened on New Years Day 1857 and consecrated by the Bishop of Durham on April 23rd 1857. A walk through the cemetery today gives one feelings of both sadness and tranquility - sadness when one looks at the headstones describing the lives of loved ones, and tranquility in the silence away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The beautifully cared for grounds contain two chapels. The southernmost, built of stone and with a steeple, is a dissenters or non-conformists chapel and has been kept in such good condition that one would think that it had been newly constructed. The northernmost chapel has had a crematorium added to it and is always bedecked with the most beautiful plants and flowers placed there by those remembering lost friends and relatives. On the southern wall of the cemetery is mounted a plaque recording the re-interment of the remains of Quakers taken from the burial ground in Cullercoats. In 1872, Tynemouth Corporation wished to extend John Street in Cullercoats, to Marden Burn so that it would join Whitley Lane (now Whitley Road). As the burial ground was in the way, permission was sought from and granted by the Society of friends to remove the remains and headstones to Preston Cemetery where they lie today. Twelve headstones in weather-worn and broken condition were taken to Preston and they commemorated the following people:

Thomas Airey, of North Shields Oct 27th 1675
Son of Henry Airey, North Shields Nov 4th 167-
Robert Curry, of North Shields, Skinner and Glover (who, according to the Parish Register was "drowned in Mr. Lawson's Sumpe") Sep 20th 1680
His daughter Aug 19th 1680
Frances, daughter of Thomas Dove of Cullercoats July 168(3 or 8)
Hannah, wife of Robert Selby of Durham, formerly the wife of John Dove of Whitley 1684
John Willoby of North Shields, anchor smith 1689
Ellenor, wife of Thomas Dove of Cullercoats Mar 2nd 16--
Eliner, wife of William Dove of Whitley -----
Elizabeth, daughter of John Buston of North Shields 1695
Dorotha, wife of John Frost Feb 26th 1697
Margaret, daughter of Zephaniah Haddock of Cullercoats Apr 5th 1699
Martha, wife of Lawerence Haslam of North Shields Dec 13th 1703
John Buston of North Shields, skinner and glover Nov 20th 1710

In front of the eastern wall of the crematorium stand several fine stones, including a memorial to the Fenwick family from whom the land was purchased to establish the cemetery. The stone cottage next to the northern gates of the cemetery called North Lodge, was built as a home for the cemetery superintendent. The building has changed little since Mr. J. Blyton took up residence as the first superintendent in 1857. We cannot leave Preston cemetery without admiring the impressive main gateway with the entrance lodge alongside. The fine stone pillars and the low wall are a credit to the metalworkers who fashioned them.

Retracing our steps towards Front Street we arrive at the site of ST ANDREWS COURT