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

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The Snowflake Trail is over now until Christmas 2023.
120 of you took a Snowflake home for your own tree and 40 people left a message for a loved one on our memory tree. Thank you for visiting and making this event so special
#JQChristmas #keyhillcemetery
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The Snowflake Trail is back for a 3rd year in Key Hill Cemetery and the weather laid on some real snow for us too!

The trail is free and open to everyone from 18th December until 1st January. Wrap up warm and explore, hunting for wooden snowflakes which hang from some of the trees forming a trail around the cemetery. Add the name of your loved one to our memory tree using the stars and snowflakes provided. Choose a decorative snowflake from the trail to take home for your own tree.

Please take care while walking as paths may be slippery in snowy, icy oe wet conditions. Please visit during daylight hours only.

Share your photos of your snowflake on your tree at home and tag us!

Key Hill Cemetery too far to travel? There are also snowflake trails at Lodge Hill Cemetery (18th Dec- 24th Dec), Lodge Hill Cemetery (18th Dec- 24th Dec) and Sutton Coldfield Crematorium (19th Dec - 24th Dec).
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This project is possible because of funding from: