This historic photograph was taken on 25th April 1936, no doubt to mark the fact that Liverpool Corporation had finally decided to close the cemetery with the last burial taking place in July that year; opened in 1829, its final recorded tally was 57,839 internments. It then became a public garden and remained relatively untouched for about three decades. Even in its state of gentle decay in the mid-1960s, it was wonderfully atmospheric to wander amongst the historic tombstones.  It was a sad day when, as is so often the case with Liverpool, the Corporation in its infinite wisdom decided after decades of neglect to ‘gentrify’ it. It was nothing less than ‘official vandalism’ and another sad example of the obliteration of the city’s heritage. Now, very little remains of the old cemetery and the lives of the many notable people who made their final journey there. John Foster, Kitty Wilkinson, Sarah Biffin and Edward Rushton must be turning in their graves…if only they could find them.To find out more about St James Cemetery, its fascinating history, its memorials and the people buried there, go to