History and stories related to the graves and buildings in Spital Cemetery Chesterfield

The articles and information you will find here all relate to the history of Spital Cemetery in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Spital Cemetery is the oldest public cemetery in Derbyshire outside of Derby and there is much to tell about the history of its development and use and about many of the people who are buried there. Subjects to be covered include:

– research of the history of the Cemetery
– research the stories of the people buried in the Cemetery
– produce new information leaflets and signage available online and in the Cemetery itself

The work relies on volunteers and is carried out mostly be a small group. New contributions are always welcome so please do get in touch if you have an article you would like included or are aware of a piece of information that it would be useful to share.

Most recent addition:

The Theatre Fire Girls

On 27th December 1911, a fire broke out in the dressing room of the Picture Palace, on Burlington Street, where a group of young girls were waiting to go on stage  and perform an Eskimo dance. Their costumes were made of highly flammable cotton wool, and one caught fire from a spark which may have been from the fire or from a cigarette. She panicked, and in the ensuing melee  other girls caught fire. Following the deaths  of five children; Lizzie Bell (13), Lydia Smith (12), Mabel Swaine (13), Ada Tidball (13) and Winifred Wood (13) from burns, there was a huge Memorial at the Crooked Spire, on January 1st.
They were then buried close together in Spital Cemetery, in pauper graves among other graves. Their graves, the site previously being marked by a wicker cross, have recently received new gravestones as a memorial to the event.

Find the rest of this article and more articles on our Articles page.