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Quarry Cemetery, Marquion

Gazetteer No. G0759


Address Marquion, Pas de Calais France


The battlefield cemetery was constructed by Canadian soldiers in a limestone quarry. This is one of the smallest cemeteries realized by Lutyens. Nevertheless, much attention has been devoted to the design. Thanks to the location in a quarry the cemetery has obtained a unique atmosphere. The cemetery lies in a sunken position and is accessible via a stairway with two intermediate plateaux. The lower inter- mediate plateau coincides with the height of the wall that surrounds the cemetery on three sides. On the roadside, the wall is a retaining wall for the embankment.

Due to the fact that the wall has acquired an apse form on the short side, and that the Cross of Sacrifice has been placed on the other side at road height, the cemetery has become a sacral area that calls to mind a chapel in the open air. The secludedness of the space is reinforced by the grove that lies on the other long side of the location. The Cross of Sacrifice has been installed at a high point to make the low-lying cemetery visible from the road, on a plateau between two plant beds. With its high elevation, the plateau manifests itself as a large natural stone volume, which has been divided by placing a seat in an alcove. The walls next to the seat are fronted by hydrangeas. The entire triangular piece of ground, including the groves around the cemetery, is surrounded by a hedge. (Geurst, 2010, p.388)


Geurst, J. (2010) Cemeteries of the Great War by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers.

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Imperial War Graves Commission