Thank you - for helping save the graves of old Attercliffe 

The Friends of Zion Graveyard invite supporters to join short ceremony to celebrate the successful campaign at 2pm on Sunday 11th February 2018 at Zion Graveyard Attercliffe S9 3RG. The entrance is through a small gate behind the old Riley's Shop (now Sheffield Tooling).  We hope also to have open the entrance from Ferguson Street which will provide level access.  The graveyard will remain open until 4pm. 

Please note this is not the large Attercliffe Cemetery, but it is nearby.  If you can see it from the road it is the wrong one! It is behind a new car sales beside Auto Start repairs (the old Zion Sabbath School).

This is an important educational resource which will now be preserved for the benefit of generations to come

We will be organising a full programme of activities to include 

  • research into the history of the church, the graveyard and those buried there  
  • collecting and recording the memories of people who lived in this vibrant community. 
  • caring for the graveyard and nurturing the wildlife 
  • continuing the  campaign against modern-day slavery by supporting the Snowdrop Project

The Story

The search for the final resting place of Victorian philanthropists Joseph and Elizabeth Read and their eldest daughter Mary Anne Rawson, one of the leading anti-slavery campaigners of the nineteenth century, led to the surprising discovery of a locked and forgotten graveyard in the industrial area of Attercliffe, Sheffield, UK.  

The disused burial ground, all that remains of the once grand Zion Congregational Church, had been advertised for sale, with the possibility that the memorial stones from more than 58 graves could be moved and the land used as a car park or if the land were to be used for building, the deceased could be exhumed and remains reburied elsewhere at the developers expense, but not necessarily in separate graves. 

We wanted to see this historic graveyard preserved intact and cared for.  Over the last twenty years the site has been shut away and has become a haven for wildlife that would be ordinary else where but is rare in industrial Attercliffe. We wanted to save it as  a wildlife garden that is opened at regular times or for groups and relatives by arrangement.

We made a formal offer to BUY the graveyard which was been accepted. We submitted a successful application to the Heritage Lottery Fund and launched a Crowdfunding page to meet additional costs and legal fees.

We are very grateful for every donation, from the loose change dropped into collecting tins to the £1,000 generously donated by the Sanita Merali Trust and donations from many other individuals and organisations

New members are welcome and will be kept up to date by email. A membership form can be uploaded here and returned by email (there is no joining fee) FoZG membership form 2018_01_30.pdf

A list of graves so far discovered can be downloaded here ZION CHAPEL memorials & notes - 2017.05.22.pdf  Please contact us if you believe you are related to anyone on the list.

Further content will be uploaded to this site over the next few weeks.  

In the meantime please follow us on  Facebook  Friends of Zion Graveyard Attercliffe

  • Revealed

    The modest memorial stones listing eight members of the Read Family of Wincobank Hall lay beneath six inches of groundcover and a heap of litter.

  • Forgotten

    Beneath swathes of ivy, cushioned by velvety moss and protected from the elements by overhanging branches, the impressive memorial for the family of Jonathan Wood onetime owner of Wood's Foundry rests peacefully in the sunshine. 

  • Uncovered

    Volunteers scraping away the foliage to reveal the tombstones of Attercliffe's Non-Conformist Congregationlists.

Donations welcome!
Together, and with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund, we raised enough money to SAVE Zion Graveyard.

The site has now been purchased by Friends of Zion Graveyard and will be open to the public the second Sunday afternoon of every month and for additional events.

Many thanks to all our supporters.