World War Two mortuary found in overgrown Wrexham cemetery

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Media captionThe first glimpse inside a potential “morbid tourist attraction”

A wartime mortuary closed to the public for 70 years could soon become a tourist attraction.

The brick building has been uncovered almost perfectly preserved in the overgrown grounds of Wrexham Cemetery.

Built in 1939 as an overflow for the former War Memorial Hospital, it is thought to be the only one of its kind to survive in north Wales.

Conservationists now hope to attract visitors “with an interest in history or just morbid curiosity”.

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Graham Lloyd

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The interior, including the mortuary slab, was perfectly preserved

Cemetery attendant Graham Lloyd was the first person to peek inside after hearing it mentioned by one of his colleagues.

While the building was overgrown with vegetation, he found it was almost perfectly preserved having been undisturbed for more than half a century.

Among the discoveries was the mortuary slab, sink and even a transfer casket that was unoccupied.

History and preservation group, Friends of Wrexham Cemetery, already runs tours of the cemetery.

It said records showed that among those taken to the mortuary were the victims of German plane crashes at Cefn, Wrexham, and Pulford, Cheshire, as well as civilians killed by bombs in Wrexham and Rhos, Denbighsire, in August 1940.

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Graham Lloyd

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An empty transfer casket was among the items found

The last to pass through the building were eight victims of an RAF bomber crash near Bwlchgwyn, Wrexham, in 1943.

“Apart from clearing up broken glass and making it safe to enter, we intend to leave everything as it is,” Mr Lloyd said.

“People will be interested in looking around. Maybe they will have an interest in history, or just a morbid curiosity.

“We have all the records of real people who have gone through with some interesting stories behind them. The mortuary adds to the history of the cemetery.”

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