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 tells 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

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.
...

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
...

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/
...

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
...

This project is possible because of funding from: