Balmoral Cemetery


Oct 13, 2023
Name plaque at the entrance to Balmoral Cemetery in south Belfast.

Balmoral Cemetery was declared open to the public on 13 October 1855.

The cemetery was built after Reverend Henry Cooke and Reverend Joseph Mackenzie of Malone were refused permission to carry out a ‘proper’ Presbyterian funeral in another churchyard. The pair decided to set up their own burial ground on land belonging to Reverend Mackenzie, beside Stockman’s Lane. 

The graveyard, originally known as Belfast Cemetery, Malone, became public property in 1953.

Burials were mostly of subscribing and non-subscribing Presbyterians but the graveyard was also used by other denominations. 

By the 1920s, the site had fallen into disrepair and, in 1953, it was taken over by Belfast Corporation (now the council).

Amongst those buried in Balmoral Cemetery are:

Reverend Joseph Mackenzie (1811-1883). The co-founder of the site.

Reverend Henry Cooke (1788-1868). Cooke was a prominent Presbyterian noted for his conservative and anti-Catholic views. However, he was an active abolitionist of slavery

Dr Wilberforce Arnold (1838-1891). The founder of the Presbyterian Orphan Society.

William Batt (1840-1910). The architect who designed the front gate lodge for Botanic Garden.

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