Christopher has been tracing his family history and contacted us with information about a relative buried at Key Hill Cemetery and why he enjoys visiting:

“I am 62 years old, was raised in Birmingham until I was 19 and then left. I’ve now come back (in 2013). I have been doing my family history. My paternal grandmother’s surname was Carrolan. The Carrolans originate from Slane County Meath and came to Birmingham around 1845 in response to ever growing industries. The Carrolan family grew and grew. Mainly living in the Lozells, Aston and Handsworth areas (Booth Street). They worked in various industries as e.g. metal annealer, tube drawer, stair rod maker, metal shearer, polisher etc.

I managed to trace my Great Great Great Great Grandfather Phillip Carrolan (who, along with his son  Matthew came over from Ireland around 1838) and discovered that he is buried in Key Hill. Through the various ‘Key Hill people’ I managed to trace where he is buried, in a public grave, along with a number of others. His grave is unmarked (as obviously there were too many people in the same plot).

Phillip started off in Chew Magna, where his son, Matthew, married a local ironmongers daughter, before they all moved to Foxhole, Llansamlet and then finally on to Birmingham sometime after 1841.
Most of his direct ancestors still live in Birmingham, although there are some who have moved on to America and back to Wales.

I have visited Key Hill a number of times and enjoy wandering around there, as well as the Jewellery Quarter. I also sit and ponder the lives of people, including my ancestors. It is a very peaceful and enjoyable experience. I hope to come over one Sunday and do one of the tours.”

If you would like to go on a cemetery tour too, the Friends of Key Hill and Warstone Lane Cemetery run regular tours on the second Sunday of each month. Please contact them to book a place.

Phillip Carrolan died in 1850 and was buried in a public grave, Section Q, Grave 559 which contains 138 internments from 1849 and 1850. Although some public graves in Key Hill Cemetery are marked with memorials which have a long list of names, those in this section are unmarked.

Public graves with headstones at Section L Key Hill Cemetery. The family would pay twice – once for the burial and once for the inscription, so not all of the people buried in the grave are listed on the memorial.

Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries Project


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

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).

This project is possible because of funding from: