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“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!