Friends of Flaybrick Memorial Gardens to launch 2023 guided walks programme

Local charity, the Friends of Flaybrick, is urging the people of Wirral and beyond to take part in their popular guided walks and discover the fascinating stories of the past residents of Birkenhead.

The charity’s first guided walk of the year takes place on Saturday 15 April, with five more planned for 13 May, 10 June, 8 July, 12 August, and 30 September.

Flaybrick Memorial Gardens were first opened as Birkenhead Cemetery on 30 May 1864 – more than 150 years ago. The site was designed by Edward Kemp, who was Superintendent of Birkenhead Park and a renowned landscape gardener.

The architects responsible for the design of the cemetery chapels were Charles Lucy and Charles Littler, who, like Kemp, are buried in Flaybrick along with more than 100,000 other people.

Some of the other well-known locals laid to rest at Flaybrick are Mary Ann Mercer, who was both the first female mayor and the first socialist mayor of Birkenhead, Charles Thompson, who was founder of the town’s mission which is still very much active today, and William Jackson, a former railway entrepreneur and Liberal Member of Parliament.

The site is listed as grade 2 in the English Heritage register of Parks and Gardens of Specific Historic Interest and is accredited as a Significant Cemetery in Europe.

The Friends of Flaybrick was set up in 1993 and gained registered charity status in 2005.

As well as running guided walks, members help maintain the grounds at Flaybrick all year round, and the charity is very much involved in the local community.

Chairman of the Friends of Flaybrick, and walks co-ordinator, Rob Dolphin, said, “We are very excited to be launching this year’s programme of guided walks at Flaybrick Memorial Gardens.

“With each passing year, the walks get more and more popular – last year, we averaged 65 visitors per walk.

“There are over 100,000 people buried at Flaybrick, and every one of them has their own story.

“We try to cover as many of them as possible on our walks, and each walk follows a different route, so people can come back again and again and they’ll always see new things that they might not have seen before and hear new stories about the past residents of the town.

“The walks are a great way to spend a Saturday morning for anyone who would like to find out a bit about the history of Birkenhead and its people.”

Anyone who would like to attend a guided walk is asked to meet at 10:45am at the front of the chapels which are located at the top of the main driveway. People are advised to wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Walks last for approximately 90 minutes and it costs £2 per person to attend, with all proceeds reinvested in the charity.

Parking is available in and around the site and the nearest bus stop is located outside Flaybrick at the top of Bidston Avenue.

There is a café and toilet facilities at nearby Tam O’Shanter’s Urban Farm which is just over Boundary Road to the rear of the chapels.

Groups and individuals can also book private tours of the memorial gardens, and the Friends also enjoy visiting societies and organisations to give PowerPoint presentations.

For further information, please visit the Friends of Flaybrick website at You can also visit their Facebook page ( ) and follow them on Twitter (@FlaybrickFriend ).

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