This year has been like no other in the history of the cemeteries, the Jewellery Quarter and the world. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected everyone and led to all kinds of loss; including lives, jobs, homes and many aspects of daily living which we took for granted.

It has however also given many people an opportunity to slow down, appreciate nature and connect with the places on their doorstep. We feel incredibly moved that so many locals have taken Key Hill and Warstone Lane Cemeteries into their hearts during this time, valuing them as green spaces to escape into.

Harriett Victoria
Margaret from Friends of Key Hill and Warstone Lane
Nicki Collins

The people who built these cemeteries and buried their loved ones there, designed them as places of recreation for walking, for picnicking, for learning about trees, plants and local history. They also hoped they would be places where the beauty of nature would comfort people who had experienced loss. This year has shown that in the Jewellery Quarter, our cemeteries can still fulfil all these roles.

The active cemeteries in Birmingham and other cities, had to be closed or have their opening hours restricted during the pandemic, to allow funerals to continue safely. Our cemeteries are closed to new burials and so remained open alongside city parks for people to take their allowed daily exercise. While walking, jogging or sitting in the fresh air, lots of people took the time to share their photos and thoughts with us on social media.

Alex N-E

“I’m appreciating nature so much more during lockdown!” Alex N-E

The changing seasons and weather have been captured. In the Spring we enjoyed a riot of colour from bluebells, hyacinths and daffodils, plus delicate blossom on the trees.

Sarah Hayes

Ryan from JQHeritageSquad

In the Summer, the grass was filled with a multitude of wildflowers and the under the trees there was a blanket of dappled shade. Good weather meant even more chances to get out and enjoy the fresh air.

Jack from JQHeritageSquad

Suraj Gregory- Kumar

We have photos of the cemeteries at sunrise, at sunset and at every hour in between, capturing the progress of the restoration work as new paths were laid and also the beauty of the monuments from the simplest headstone to the tallest obelisk.

Rebecca Craggs

Annette French

“I struggle to describe why this place feels so special but there’s a softness in the atmosphere which reveals itself every time” Annette French

Sandie Gay


“Two cemeteries visited on the daily walk today. Warstone Lane and Key Hill cemetery. Enjoying walkies around the Jewellery Quarter during lockdown” RJ (read more in this blog post)

Many people have reported seeing wildlife in the cemeteries this year, including squirrels, foxes, bees, butterflies and lots of birds. Lizee Oliver’s unique talent has captured some of these illusive moments.

The Autumn has brought it’s own beauty with colourful leaves and fungi to spot. The cemeteries remain a peaceful place to walk and explore all year round.

Oliver McCall

Annette French


Jack Spicer Adams

Sandie Gay

John Paddington

With new paths and drainage, winter walks should be less muddy than ever before! Don’t let fog or snow put you off – the cemeteries have their own magic in the winter.

So please, keep exploring Key Hill and Warstone Lane, both during lockdown and once we can lift restrictions safely. If you have any images or stories please share them with us on social media @JQCemeteries, you can use the hashtag #JQCemeteryMemories. We are on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Thank you to everyone for your beautiful photos, we have enjoyed looking at them so much, and hope that by gathering them here together we are able to bring joy to even more people.

Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries Project


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:

#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: