Peel House Cemetery was officially opened today by the Deputy Mayor of Halton, Cllr Martha Lloyd Jones, and is the first new cemetery in Widnes for more than 120 years!

Built on a five-hectare site which was formerly part of Fairfield High School playing fields, this is the first all-new cemetery in the town since Birchfield Road Cemetery was opened in 1898.

Planning work for Peel House began in the mid-2010s and a start on site was made in 2017. Construction work was completed in April 2020 at a cost of £1.3m and the site will provide space for full burials, cremated remains burials and cremated remains sanctum vaults for the next 50 years.

The design maximizes a site with views south across Widnes to Halton Castle and is laid out in a circular radial pattern, with a single tree-lined access point from Incline Way. The radial pattern allows areas for different uses and includes a quiet ‘Columbarium Garden’. This is a quiet, contemplative space containing above-ground granite vaults in which cremated remains are housed.

At the centre of the site, is a central garden of simple layout, with seating under pergolas facing a central Pennine stone monolith. The southern half of the site is currently kept as a meadow area and has been seeded with wildflowers. The site perimeter is planted with a native mix of hedgerow and woodland trees.

There are 40 car parking spaces, including four accessible spaces. The whole site is also wheelchair accessible.

The Deputy Mayor, accompanied at the opening by the Consort, Cllr Peter Lloyd Jones, said: “‘The creation of a new cemetery is not an everyday occurrence – it signifies a very important moment in time for an authority and for the community. It demonstrates the importance of providing a fitting place to remember people that we have lost and shows the care and attention we place in doing this.

“The creation of a new cemetery required a great deal of hard work from many different disciplines and organisation to achieve what we see here today. My thanks go out to everyone involved for that work and commitment to create the cemetery, and to those charged with running it and looking after it for many years ahead. It really is something for Halton to be proud of.”