The rapid industrialisation and population increase in Birmingham brought many changes.

This included a shortage of burial space for the dead. That issue had been solved in some European cities by opening large new cemeteries outside the city limits. They were laid out with winding paths, picturesque planting and beautiful monuments, so were called ‘garden cemeteries’. By the 1830s, pioneering Birmingham figures were campaigning to open a cemetery too, succeeding in 1836. The popularity of this new venture ensured that another was opened, practically next door, just 12 years later- both in the area we now call the Jewellery Quarter.

When the cemeteries opened, the Jewellery Quarter as we know it today was in its infancy, but before the end of the century, this area was transformed into a bustling centre of manufacturing and skilled craftsmanship. It became the birthplace of many advancements in science and industry. Lots of stories about the Jewellery Quarter, and Birmingham as a whole, are tied to the cemeteries. Either beginning there with the raw material of the sand or ending there with the final resting place of visionaries, craftspeople and ordinary working families. The Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries Project wants to tell these stories.

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.

Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries Project

Instagram

Calling all fans of nonsense rhyme and looping limerick for a unique online premiere of The Owl, The Pussycat and Edward Lear by @CellarTheatre filmed in Key Hill and Warstone Lane. Tickets £5, Thurs 29th at 6.30pm, followed by Q&A with Jonathan Goodwin
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-owl-the-pussycat-and-edward-lear-online-event-tickets-151486940517
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This week we are starting the next stage of our #JQPoppies community tapestry artwork- making dog tag with names from the war memorials & graves to add to the field of poppies,
Socially distanced outdoor workshops on Tues, Thurs or Sat mornings:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/jq-poppies-project-dog-tag-stamping-workshop-tickets-149236375015
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We've been working alongside @jqth_project project with Ruth and Cecilia from @soj_bcu to create fab new resources. Watch our talk show and take the Quarter Quiz which explores two key JQ sites via VR for a chance to win a Made in the JQ enamel badge.
You can also download a beautifully illustrated brochure of their fav JQ places, available in English and Mandarin Chinese
https://cemeteries.jewelleryquarter.net/tours_trails_posts/quarter-quiz/
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Our online talks programme continues on May 6th with an in depth look at Key Hill House - James Watt's 1st Birmingham home, plus the wider history of the house and Key Hill with John Townley and George Demidowicz. Free but booking essential.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/online-talk-a-history-of-key-hill-of-key-hill-house-tickets-149675019011
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This project is possible because of funding from: