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Cathays Cemetery could reopen after being closed for over 30 years

A Victorian cemetery could reopen for new burials after having been closed for 35 years.

Cathays Cemetery, which opened in 1859 and is the third largest cemetery in the UK, will come under investigation by Cardiff Council who have set out to find new ways to self-fund the cemetery in the bereavement report voted by the Cabinet on February 19.

Cathays graveyard

Cathays graveyard


A survey will be done by the council soon to review how many graves sold under the exclusive right-to-buy burial have not been used and the lease period has now expired. These graves could be claimed back by the council for re-sale.

Cathays Cemetery, now a green flag site, closed in the late 1980s when it had no extra land to extend any further.

The report also outlines plans to encourage the use of the cemetery by local schools for history and biodiversity work as well as promote the chapels as spaces for heritage talks and conferences. Last year, a £56,000 grant from the landfill allowance scheme was spent on refurbishing the inside of the chapels, which included connecting electricity, putting in new suspended floors and glazed windows, in order to put them back into use.

Grave stones in Cathays Cemetery

Grave stones in Cathays Cemetery


Councillor Sarah Merry, who represents Cathays, said: “There are a lot of good suggestions in the report about the use of the cemetery by schools and composting facilities for green waste which we have asked for previously. The cemetery is actually a lovely and fascinating green space in a part of Cathays that has very little open space and I would like to see the character protected along with some of the wilder parts. But we also have to respect the feelings of relatives.”

Cathays Cemetery, along with cemeteries in Llanishen, Llandaff and Radyr, are closed for new burials but re-opening of existing graves do occur.

Cardiff Council operates seven cemeteries which costs £193,031 per year to maintain.

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