This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for details.
“Love will tear us apart, again”
If you are a fan of Joy Division and want to find Ian Curtis’ grave in Macclesfield, you’ve come to the right place.
Recently, I went up north in the UK to watch the Stone Roses in Manchester. So, it seemed silly not to visit Macclesfield on my magical music tour.
Macclesfield is where Joy Division’s Ian Curtis was born, grew up and lived for most of his life.
If you’re not familiar with Joy Division, you need to stop reading this and give it a listen!
Ian’s showmanship, musicality and talent are amazing to watch and he was a true rock star who will be remembered in the history books.
How did Ian Curtis die?
Ian Curtis was born in Stratford but he did spend most of his life in Macclesfield. He attended the King’s School nearby.
In 1977, he formed Joy Division in Manchester. He was an epileptic and was known for making fun of his seizures while performing.
In 1978, his epilepsy grew worse and audience members often couldn’t tell if Ian was joking or really was in trouble on stage! The illness caused Ian great pain and many of his songs from 1978 to 1980 were filled with melancholy.
Unfortunately, his epilepsy didn’t improve despite medical attention and he had numerous breakdowns after performances.
Famously, Ian was pulled out of a psychiatric hospital to play a show but then he couldn’t perform and the crowds were angry! This caused yet another breakdown and his marriage problems with Deborah only added to the turmoil.
A few days later, days before Joy Division were about to tour the USA, Ian hanged himself in his kitchen. He left Deborah and their one-year-old daughter Natalie behind.
Where is Ian Curtis buried?
After his death, Ian Curtis was cremated and his ashes were buried in Macclesfield cemetery.
His gravestone and epitaph were chosen by his wife, Deborah Curtis. ‘Love will Tear us Apart‘ is a reference to a Joy Division song written about her.
How to travel to Macclesfield in the UK
Macclesfield is located around an hour out of Manchester. There are a number of ways to get here from the city centre;
- Macclesfield by train – trains run daily here from Manchester Piccadilly station. You can check the times and prices on the Train Line.
- Macclesfield by Bus – The Arriva service number 130 leaves from East Didbury Pars Wood.
- Driving to Macclesfield – You can make the 20-mile journey down the A5103 route. Plug in SK10 3BU into your Satnav or Google maps. There is some free roadside parking near the cemetery.
How to find the Gravesite of Ian Curtis in Macclesfield Cemetery
You can visit Ian Curtis’ gravestone in Macclesfield Cemetery Crematorium which is just a mile or so out of the city centre.
There are maps located around the churchyard and you’ll need to head towards the ‘Chapel of Remembrance’. You can use this site for a more detailed map.
From there, you should eventually see the gravestone and epitaph which reads “Ian Curtis – Love will tear us apart, again 18-5-80”.
There are some beautiful offerings from fans to pay their respects. Flowers, plectrums, candles, notes, photos and fan art all make it a touching place to visit.
Note: I shouldn’t have to say this but please do not steal this gravestone or damage it in any way. Don’t steal any of the offerings from it. The gravesite often faces vandalism which is disrespectful.
77 Barton Street, Ian Curtis’ home
Another place where Ian Curtis spent time in Macclesfield was his home in 77 Barton street. He shared it with his wife Deborah and their daughter Natalie.
This is the place where he eventually hanged himself. It must have been so sad, to find no way out.
If you want to see the outside of the house you can head back into the centre and find it amongst the red terraced houses.
It paints such a picture of what life would have been like. If you’ve ever watched the film ‘Control’ – you’ll know what I mean!
The house today is currently for sale from its current owners and you can check out the property on Zoopla. I wonder how many genuine viewings will be scheduled to buy, or will it be fans wanting to have a look inside?!
Can you go inside Ian Curtis’ house?
Unfortunately, no. The property is private. But, you can visit the outside.
They were going to make the house into a museum to commemorate Ian’s life, which I think is a great idea!
If you ever find yourself up north and you listen to Joy Division, make sure you schedule a trip here to check it out. It’s an essential pilgrimage for any fan!
What’s your favourite Joy Division song? Do you think the house should be a museum? Comment Below!
Tuesday 8th of June 2021
There really is no band quite like Joy Division. sonically, they exist on a plane of their own, nobody can replicate their frighteningly dark atmosphere. The story of Joy Division is what peaks my interest the most though, they're different from your '27 Club' which should've just been called the Heroin club tbh. Nirvanas or Doors. Mostly because their music stands out even now, let alone in the 1970's, while the other bands seem truly seem frozen in time, Joy Division seems detached from time entirely. I'm excited to travel to Macclesfield, to soak up the environment and try to immerse myself. Don't know when though, my parents don't have plans to go to England anytime soon, and i'm a little too young to travel alone. Cool blog!
Thursday 10th of June 2021
Hi Noah! Exactly, there really is no other band like them! They were definitely ahead of their time and it’s such a shame it was cut short. I really hope you make it to Macclesfield one day to soak it all in. Manchester is also home to many great bands like Stone Roses / The Smiths so definitely go there too. They have lots of awesome vinyl places and music tours. You’ll love it! Stay safe there, Sophie x
Thursday 27th of May 2021
This is not a grave. His ashes were not buried there, but scattered somewhere. It is just a sort of memory stone. By the way, I visited the cemetary and his house about 10 years ago. Always been a fan, since I was 20 when Unknown Pleasures was released. Greetings from Belgium.
Friday 28th of May 2021
Yes technically it isn't a grave, this is true. But, it's what people search for so I called it that :) Oh wow, that's great that you visited his house that long ago! I'm glad you could visit and show your appreciation for him. Hope you're well there in Belgium. Sophie x
Tuesday 20th of October 2020
Are Ian Curtis' Ashes buried in the curb of the driveway?
Tuesday 20th of October 2020
Hi DeeDee, from what I've read online his ashes were buried at Macclesfield cemetery itself at the location of the memorial. Sorry, I'm not sure what driveway you meant? Hope this helps and enjoy your visit! Sophie x
Tuesday 4th of August 2020
Hi Sophie Great page on paying respects to Ian and how to find his marker. I will make a visit next time I'm up in the Peak District.
Sunday 9th of August 2020
Hi John, thanks for reading the post! I hope you find him on your visit. Sophie x
Monday 2nd of December 2019
Planning on going to visit Ian's grave shortly and thanks for your guidance . I have been playing his songs and watching the videos of course of Joy division on You Tube . My favourite track from the band was definately Transmission not only for the performance but Stephen Morris on drums who was fantastic. Played that track over and over again fantastic.
Saturday 7th of December 2019
Hi Maurice, ah I'm so happy my guide helped you and I hope you havea great time there to meet a great musician. Transmission is an incredible track, it's a great tragedy his life was cut so short. Safe travels, Sophie x