Tonge cemetery was the first municipal cemetery in Bolton when it opened on New Years Eve 1856 and was known simply as Bolton cemetery.

In 2002 the English Heritage organisation considered Tonge cemetery to be of sufficient historical interest to be placed on the Register of Parks and Gardens as a Grade II listed site. Its architect William Henderson also designed Corporation Park in Blackburn, Alexandra park in Oldham and Bolton’s Queens park.

Heaton cemetery is now the busiest cemetery in Bolton with around 250 interments per annum. The cemetery also contains dedicated areas for both religions and communities, these include Ukrainian, Polish, Latvian, Russian, Muslim and Hindu.