Weaste Cemetery was Salford's first municipal cemetery. Before the cemetery opened in 1857 most burials took place in churchyards. Salford Corporation was one of the first municipal authorities to recognise that churchyards could no longer provide sufficient burial space and so the plans for Weaste Cemetery were made.
In the Victorian age cemeteries were considered to be amenities like parks and gardens and were usually designed in a similar way. Weaste Cemetery was no exception. The cemetery once boasted four chapels and a glazed summer house indicating that the intention was to offer a beautiful landscaped garden of rest where the visitor could escape the bustle of city life. The beautiful design made Weaste Cemetery the most desirable final resting-place for well to do Mancunians and Salfordians as is evidenced by the large ornate monuments in 'Rich man's plot'.
In 1888 a new portion was added, making Weaste Cemetery 39 acres in area. And to date, over 330,000 interments have taken place at the cemetery. These include Joseph Brotherton, a leading social reformer who became Salford's first M.P; Sir Charles Hallé, the founder of the Hallé Orchestra; Mark Addy, a local hero who saved over 50 people from drowning in the River Irwell and four Crimean War veterans who rode in The Charge of the Light Brigade.