It holds the remains of numerous soldiers and airmen from both World Wars as well as many who perished in the airstrikes of the Belfast Blitz in 1941.
The large stretch of grassland across the centre of the grassland appears to look like unused ground but it is the ‘Poor Grounds’. It contains the remains of an estimated 85,000 people in mass graves with no headstones to remember them.
The grassy area on the southern edge of Milltown Cemetery is believed to hold hundreds of still born babies, buried between the 1940’s and early 1980’s. Under church rules unbaptized children were not allowed to be laid to rest in sanctified ground.
A decision by the Cemetery Trustees to lease it to the Ulster Wildlife Trust prompted an outcry from relatives who insisted the six-acre plot held the remains of their loved ones. In 2009 the Diocese of down and Connor commissioned an archaeological survey to establish whether graves lay there. The land was revested into the cemetery and there are plans for a commemorative garden.