The Gatehouse

When the Cemetery opened in 1836, the main approach to the Cemetery was from the Manchester Turnpike Road (now Ecclesall Road) along Cemetery Avenue, which was flanked by a low wall either side and lined with lime trees. The two obelisks that stood at the junction of the roads were removed in 1926. The approach was an integral part of the plan for the Cemetery.


The Gatehouse (Grade II* listed) was important in setting the first impression of the Cemetery. It would have been clearly visible rising in tiers up the hillside beyond. The main gateway, side lodges and supporting bridge were designed in a classical revival style and made of sandstone. The building sits upon a substantial wide bridge that spans the Porter Brook. This feature can be interpreted as a classical reference to reaching the Elysian Fields (the afterlife) after crossing the River Styx. Or as a Judeo/Christian reference to crossing the River Jordan to reach the Promised Land.

Elaborate wrought iron gates were installed at the Gatehouse in the late Victorian period. Their design was ingenious – instead of swinging open they slid back into spaces built in the Gatehouse, allowing the widest possible access into the grounds. They survived until the 1970s, when they were replaced.


The Gatehouse was not just the entrance to the Cemetery but provided two dwellings for Cemetery employees. By the 1990s, the building had substantially deteriorated, and had even lost its roof. A Heritage Lottery bid by the Friends of the General Cemetery with support from Sheffield City Council enabled the rebuilding and restoration of the Gatehouse. This work was completed in 2004. It has provided the Friends, now Sheffield General Cemetery Trust, with offices on one side and a source of income from the rental accommodation on the other.

Sexton’s Lodge Holiday Cottage

The Gatehouse is available to rent as a comfortable base for your stay in Sheffield. The accommodation has been furnished with original pieces, lighting and antiques from 19th century. It is within a short distance of the city centre, close to Ecclesall Road with a good choice of restaurants and bars and within 5 minutes walk of Sharrow Vale with its range of quirky independent shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs.