Blackley Cemetery is a large, municipal cemetery situated within the northern suburbs of the city of Manchester, and is owned, operated and maintained by Manchester City Council. The cemetery and crematorium complex is located on Victoria Avenue in the district of Blackley.
The cemetery contains Blackley Crematorium, the only crematorium facility operated by Manchester City Council (the other crematorium in the city, the Manchester Crematorium, being an independent company). The crematorium features 3 chapels - one large, central chapel, with twinned smaller chapels to the eastern and western sides of the building. The crematory area of the crematorium is equipped with 3 'Newton'-model cremators, installed by the Furnace Construction Co. Ltd. of Hyde, Cheshire.
Blackley Crematorium was the venue for the funeral of the late Bernard Manning, a famous Manchester-born comedian. He had previously visited the centre chapel of the crematorium building to pre-record a video piece to be played at his funeral service.
The cemetery was at one time, well known for having problems with drainage, with surface water being problematic during burials and visitation to grave sites. The city has worked to rectify this situation in recent years, with the installation of ground drainage schemes being completed in 2009. The ground drainage scheme has opened up new areas for the opening of new graves, in parts of the cemetery that were originally thought to be unusable.
A currently unused area of the cemetery is to be developed into a Natural Burial area. This project is currently in the planning and problem-solving stage, and it is as yet unknown when the new burial area will be opened for use.
The cemetery used to be a football ground of the local football team Blackley Lads. They used to play in the Manchester League and their best finish out of the 12 seasons they played was 4th. The team ended up folding with no record of where the players are now to this day.
- "Cemeteries and Crematoria". Manchester City Council.
- "Essential drainage works at Blackley Cemetery". Manchester City Council. 5 November 2008.