Anna J. Fairley 2021

University of Liverpool, UK

From paper to stone: stonemasons’ illustrations and their monuments at Toxteth Park Cemetery, Liverpool

As part of a larger project researching Liverpool’s nineteenth-century cemeteries, investigations into the archives held by Liverpool City Council regarding Toxteth Park Cemetery (established in 1856) led to the discovery of some significant documents. Alongside historic plans of the cemetery, a large collection of monument illustrations was uncovered, drawn in the nineteenth-century by the cemetery’s resident masons, George Muir and Andrew Laidlaw. Over 240 illustrated papers were found, hitherto forgotten for over a century. Exploring these, in conjunction with the existing cemetery memorials, gives insight into the process of memorial manufacturing, material choices, costs of commemoration, and how these translated from paper to the cemetery.


The Cemetery Research Group runs two events a year: in May and in November. Follow the links and send in an abstract