In 1852, following reports that St. Leonard’s Parish Church graveyard had become ‘most inconveniently filled’ Mr. Le Gendre Nicholas Starkie of Huntroyde Hall offered 2 acres of land as a public cemetery. Blackburn Road Cemetery was consecrated by the Bishop of Manchester in May 1853. £500 was borrowed to enclose the cemetery and this debt proved difficult to repay. A report in the Blackburn Standard of June 1858 records that the walks and avenues had not been completed but tenant farmers and others completed the work.
The 1890's OS map shows the original cemetery with its arched entrance on Blackburn Road flanked by the Lodge and small mortuary. An impressive tree lined drive leads to the chapel donated by Mrs. Starkie as a memorial to her husband and opened by her in May 1866 a year after his death. During the restoration of St. Leonard’s Church in 1866-69 the chapel was used for services and marriages. Following recent vandalism and threat of demolition it is now leased to Pendle Heritage Centre who maintain it.
In 1897 Colonel Starkie’s son gave a further two acres of land to extend the cemetery up to the railway. This extension was consecrated in September 1906 by the then Bishop of Manchester, Dr. Knox. A more recent addition has been the creation of remembrance walls for memorials to those cremated.
The Lodge (now demolished) and entrance arch
Current Map showing the extension of the cemetery to the south and the access point to Padiham Memorial Park to the east.