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The Mortuary

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A Place of Lost Souls

The Mortuary

Though part of “Old Saltburn” the Mortuary itself was built in 1881 and was very much part of the “New Saltburn-by-the-Sea”. It was constructed for the sole purpose of providing a suitable temporary resting place for the poor souls whose mortal remains had washed up on the beach here at Saltburn.

Last Man Standing

The Mortuary was once one of three buildings the other two housing the lifeboat and the rocket brigade house, it is the only one still standing and as such has attained Grade II listing.

The building apparently remained in use into the 1960s and Mr Peter Everett, a commentator, on the excellent site “Hidden Teesside” states:

My father worked at Saltburn Salerooms. As a child I used to spend a lot of time on the Pier with the mortuary keeper (a Mr Barber). He told me many tales about recovering bodies around Hunt Cliff. This inspired me to go on to work in a mortuary. I ended up as Superintendent to the Royal Coroner at Southwark (London), and spent 13 happy years working alongside the Scotland Yard Murder Squad. All thanks to Saltburn Mortuary.

Peter Everett

Inside the Mortuary

The site Hidden Teesside also had the opportunity to look inside the Mortuary in 2007 when it was briefly open as part of a Heritage Day. These are his photos:

The Roof of the Saltburn Mortuary

The Mortuary is only lit by two small skylights, one can only imagine the atmosphere inside in the kind of stormy days when bodies might be washed ashore.

© Copyright Twiggles and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Mortuary Slab

The original Mortuary slab seems to still be in place...

© Copyright Twiggles and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Can I Visit?

Only from the Outside

Unfortunately the Mortuary has been closed for a number of years now and seems to be principally used as a store room by the Cleveland Wildlife Trust. It is only open on rare occasions.

But Perhaps in the Future…

There have been local rumours that Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council are talking about what might be done to make the Mortuary more accessible to visitors including the possibilities of installing a glass door.

Where can I find it?

Get Directions

Additional Reading:

A eerie B&W photograph of the Mortuary can be seen by clicking here.
For more photos from Hidden Teesside please click here.