St. John's Church, Old Haymarket
1767 - 1898
St. John's Church stood against St. George Hall, on the site of what is now St. John's Gardens. The burial ground for the church, with a small chapel, was consecrated and opened for use in 1767 but the church itself was not completed until 1784. The architect of the church building was Timothy (sometimes given as Thomas) Lightoler.
In the year it was completed, St John’s served one of the most crowded and poorest areas of the city. Mid-1780’s Burial records indicate the degree of abject poverty to be found locally. Nearly one-in-two of the deaths that occurred were of children whilst in only one–in-four cases were people able to fund their own, or a relative’s, funeral. One-in-four burials were of paupers, two-in-three of whom were from the Poorhouse.
St. John's churchyard was closed for burials on 11th June 1865, 82,491 bodies having been interred in the grounds. St. John's Church was closed under the terms of the Liverpool City Churches Act 1897 The last Sunday service took place in St. John's on 27th March 1898.
When he church was demolished, Peet wrote, 'For more that a century this unsightly structure has been allowed to disfigure the landscape ... as an example of ecclesiastical art the church of St. John has not a single redeeming feature....'. Under a facility granted on 11th December 1888 Liverpool Corporation was empowered to lay out the churchyard as the public gardens to be known as St. John's Gardens.
Early Baptismal records contain a number of mentions of people from Africa, Jamaica, New Guinea and other countries. These record possible mariners or, reflecting that most unsavoury aspect of Liverpool’s past, slaves given English names.
|Repository:||Liverpool Record Office|
|Ref No||283 JOH|
|Date||1853 - 1970|
|Description:||Church Records. The collection comprises|
|Early Registers||1767 - 1812|
|Baptism Registers||1813 - 1898|
|Marriage Registers||1785 - 1898|
|Burial Registers||1813 - 1865|
|Banns Registers||1858 - 1866|
|Grave Register||19th century|
Records and History courtesy of Liverpool Record Office, Liverpool Libraries.