Birmingham’s two oldest cemeteries

With Key Hill opening in 1836 and Warstone Lane in 1848, they have provided a final resting place for many notable Birmingham figures.

The landscapes of both cemeteries are listed on the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens in recognition of their great historic importance.

This project aimed to restore them to their former glory and protect them for future generations.

Alongside the restoration work, there was an extensive programme of events celebrating the heritage, natural environment and community value of the cemeteries.

The key aims of the project:

  • To change perception of the cemeteries and raise awareness of their historical importance
  • To get more people to visit the cemeteries and become actively engaged with the project
  • To add to the ‘sense of place’ in the JQ, boosting pride and confidence in the area
  • To build strong partnerships with local residents, business and communities
  • To provide new resources for education and life-long learning about nature and heritage.

Cemeteries

Key Hill Cemetery

Originally known as the Birmingham General Cemetery and opened in 1836, Key Hill was Birmingham’s first garden cemetery. It was founded by a group of non-conformist businessmen to solve the shortage of burial space in the city and allow their Ministers to conduct funerals. The cemetery and was open to all creeds and denominations.

Warstone Lane Cemetery

Founded by the Church of England Cemetery company and consecrated by the Bishop of Worcester in 1848, designed to serve the Anglican community. This was the second garden cemetery in Birmingham, also located in the Jewellery Quarter, inspired by the success of the neighbouring Key Hill cemetery.

Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries Project

Instagram

On 25th November 2021, Olivia Swinscoe @oliviagracephoto ran a photography workshop for Year 10 pupils from City Academy @corecity_acad. The group were each given a disposable camera with 27 shots, to capture themes of life and death such as 'movement and stillness', 'light and shadow' and 'public cemetery, private grief' while exploring Key Hill and Warstone Lane Cemeteries.
This video contains just a selection of the best photos taken by Year 10.
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Explore the Gothic side of the Jewellery Quarter with Tour Guide Ian Braisby before warming up at the Shakespeare Inn & rounding off the afternoon with a candlelit tour of @coffin_works museum.
A unique experience on Sun 5th Dec from 2pm-6pm. Tickets £20:
https://the-coffin-works.arttickets.org.uk/the-coffin-works/2021-12-05-jewellery-quarter-gothic-walking-tour
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Is it too early to talk about Christmas?
We hope not because we're getting really excited about 'Christmas Classics at the Catacombs' with @voiceofthetown choir on 2nd December at 4.30pm
Free event - Christmas songs, project thank yous & festive raffle!
https://cemeteries.jewelleryquarter.net/event/christmas-classics-at-the-catacombs/
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Explore the Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries & discover the stories which link the area to the world, through the history of the British Empire.

Carrying on the work begun during the #2Visions2Legacies project, we have a new tour exploring Colonial Connections in the Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries. Join us for FREE on the 27th or 28th November:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/-210984920577
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This project is possible because of funding from: