Cross Street Chapel
Manchester's Metrolink 'Second City Crossing' will pass along Cross Street and its construction has brought about the need to remove the remains from the graves which were left under the roadway and pavement when the road was widened in 1845. There was an exploratory excavation last year which at least confirmed the graves to still be present but the major work is just about to begin to remove the remains to be reinterred at Southern Cemetery, where remains from the old graveyard (or at least that part which was inside the chapel boundary) were buried in 1996 when it was cleared to build the present chapel/office building.
The number of graves present and the number of occupants within them is the subject of some speculation. A figure of around 100 burials in some 29 graves is speculated but the inadequacies of the surviving records and the age of the burial ground could mean that the number is greater than this.
The work will take place under archaeological supervision and it is hoped that some information about those buried will be discovered in the form of memorials and/or coffin plates.
The impending work was mentioned in an article in the Manchester Evening News on 21 August 2014 though the headline 'More than 100 bodies found beneath Metrolink Second City crossing route ' suggests misleadingly that the discovery of these remains came as a surprise.
John Marsden 23 Aug 2014