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Closure of the Burial Ground

The final nail in the coffin for the Graveyard (pun intended) came in 1958, when an inquiry was launched to finally close the cemetery to future internments.  Three exceptions were made to this, each were permitted one interment before the graveyard would accept no more.  Finally on the 11th November 1960, the Monkstown Old Cemetery (Closing) Order (Northern Ireland), 1960 reached the statute books.   It is not known whether these exceptions were excercised.  There certainly is no record within the burial register to suggest that they were.



Statutory Rules and Order of Northern Ireland

1960. No. 174

Public Health

Rural District of Larne

Closing of Monkstown Old Cemetery




WHEREAS in pursuance of the provisions of section 162 of the Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878, a representation has been made to the Ministry of Health and Local Government for Northern Ireland (hereinafter referred to as “the Ministry”) that, for the maintenance of public decency and to prevent a violation of the respect due to the remains of deceased persons, burials should be discontinued in the Monkstown Old Cemetery formerly in the Rural District of Belfast and now in the Rural District of Larne.

AND WHEREAS in pursuance of the provisions of’ section 163 of the said Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878, the Ministry gave Notice in the Belfast Gazette on the 10th day of January, 1958, that the Ministry had directed Edward Armstrong, O.B.E., M.D., D.P.H., one of its Inspectors, to hold a local inquiry into the matter of the said representation on Wednesday, the twenty—ninth day of January, 1958, at 11 a.m. at the offices of the Rural District Council of Belfast, Whitehouse, and copies of the said Notice were duly affixed on the places on which they are required to be affixed by the said section 163, three weeks at least before the time of holding such inquiry;

AND WHEREAS the said Edward Armstrong duly held the said inquiry at the time and place aforesaid:

AND WHEREAS the Ministry has received the report of the said Edward Armstrong as to the result of the said inquiry and of the evidence taken thereon, and has taken the same into consideration accordingly:

NOW, THEREFORE, the Ministry, in exercise of the powers vested in it by section 162 of the Act, and of all other powers enabling it in that behalf, hereby orders as follows:-

1.     This Order may be cited as the Monkstown Old Cemetery (Closing) Order (Northern Ireland), 1960.

2.     Burials in the Monkstown Old Cemetery, in the Rural District of Larne, shall be discontinued and are hereby prohibited from and after the twenty—first day of November, 1960, subject to the exceptions following, that is to say, there shall be reserved to the persons named in the schedule hereto; subject to the limitations set out in third column thereof, the right of interment in their family graves in the said Monkstown Old Cemetery, and subject also to the provisions of Rules VII and VIII of an order made by the Local Government board for Ireland under the provisions of the said Act.


SEALED with the Official Seal of the Ministry of Health and Local Government for Northern Ireland this eleventh day of November One thousand nine hundred and sixty.


Assistant Secretary.




Persons to whom the right of interment in the

Monkstown Old Cemetery is reserved.

Name Address

Number of



John Campbell



Thomas Moore



Mrs. Annie Simpson

Slievetrue, Monkstown




77 Monkstown Road, Monkstown





Wilson’s Row, Monkstown












A map was provided which showed the approximate position of the three graves mentioned in the act.

burial_map.gif (33116 bytes)

When passed, Larne and Newtownabbey councils were informed of the passage through Parliament.  An advertisement was placed in the Belfast Telegraph, which cost Newtownabbey Council 6.16.6d, and a reimbursement of which was requested from Larne Council.   It seems at this time the graveyard passed into the hands of Newtownabbey Council.  Six months later, Newtownabbey Council were still asking for payment from Larne for the advertisement!  I have been unable to ascertain if the payment was ever made, but knowing people from Larne….


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All information Copyright Stephen Barnes 2002.  Quoted text copyright original author.