Birmingham’s two oldest cemeteries

They are 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 aims to restore them to their former glory and protect them for future generations.

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

The key aims of the project are:

  • 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 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. The second garden cemetery in Birmingham was also in the Jewellery Quarter, probably inspired by the success of the neighbouring Key Hill cemetery.

Explore more about the project

Restoration project

The restoration work began in July 2019 and is due to be completed during Summer 2020.

Phase 1 – July 2019 to January 2020: Boundary walls, railings and catacombs

Phase 2 – January 2020 to Summer 2020: Landscaping, drainage and pathways

Volunteering

Our amazing Jewellery Quarter Heritage Squad volunteers support the project in loads of different ways, and we couldn’t do this without them! Get involved with Outdoor Conservation, Events, Research, Blogging, Social Media, Promotions and more.

Funders & Partners

This project wouldn’t be possible without our amazing funders and partnerships with other local organisations.

Places We Love

Love the cemeteries as much as we do?
Check out these other Jewellery Quarter attractions and sites of interest. You can spend a whole day exploring the area.

museum-of-the-jewellery-quarter

Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries Project

Instagram

We are very excited about 'Diamonds in the Rough' a unique tour with storytelling & live performance, exploring queer history in the JQ Cemeteries for LGBT History Month.
Join Sheldon K Goodman and
Sacha Coward from @thecemeteryclub
on 12th-14th February:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/diamonds-in-the-rough-tour-tickets-251264879017

#lgbthistory #valentinesday #birmingham #jewelleryquarter #jewelleryquarterbirmingham #cemetery #tour #birminghamheritage
...

Released to celebrate the Winter Solstice 2021, this video explores some of the nocturnal animals which make the Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries their home. They might be hard to spot, but we can often see the traces they leave behind.

Emily Doyle @oldbort is a multidisciplinary visual artist who moved to the Jewellery Quarter as a student in 2015 and never left. Her practice focuses on the biological, looking for comfort in the physicality that connects us all during changing times. Throughout lockdown, Warstone Lane and Key Hill Cemeteries have been a source of inspiration and respite for Emily and the sites have shaped her creative output through 2020 and 2021, Like many, she has found the JQ Cemeteries to be a place of grounding and reflection.

Sustainability is at the forefront of Emily's work. The textile sculptures in this film were all made using reclaimed textiles, including some sourced through Scrapstore Birmingham.

This film commission was funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Birmingham City Council and Jewellery Quarter Development Trust

#cemetery #cemeterywildlife #fox #crochet #jewelleryquarterbirmingham
...

The star of the final @oldbort cemeyery seasons film of the year, which drops on 21st December has taken up residence right next to the @jqbid Christmas window at the Big Peg!
You can see this fox in his den anytime during the window trail. We can't wait for his on camera debut!
#crochet #creative #jewelleryquarter #birmingham #christmaswindow #jqchristmas #cemeterywildlife
...

This project is possible because of funding from: