The JQ Townscape Heritage Project and JQ Cemeteries Project worked with ATHAC and The Hive to run the Heritage Creatives – an online group of volunteers who are interested in making creative content inspired by the Jewellery Quarter.

The group of Birmingham-based artists have worked together in online workshops facilitated by multi-disciplinary artist Thomas Tyrrell. They have created artwork inspired by the Argent Centre in the Jewellery Quarter, a former pen factory and Turkish baths. The building has recently undergone a restoration project, grant aided by the JQ Townscape Heritage grants scheme. The project has included the reinstatement of corner turrets, featuring stainless steel finials in a floral design. Inspired by the history of the Victorian building and the recent works that have taken place, the artists created work on paper and canvas, using dip pens and inks in another reference to the history of their chosen building.

The Heritage Creatives have also drawn on inspiration from other parts of the Jewellery Quarter, including the Victoria Works, another Victorian pen factory opposite the Argent Centre, and The Chamberlain Clock.

Chamberlain Clock by Luke Crane
Victoria Works
Victoria Works

The next project for Heritage Creatives was inspired by the cemeteries. The participants created work inspired by individuals who are buried in Warstone Lane and Key Hill cemeteries, and who have made a contribution to the fields of manufacturing and design.

Examples of inspiration included the designs used for both jewellery and gravestones, especially the Winkles family whose factory was on Vittoria Street and who specialised in black brooches for mourning often with floral designs. Their family grave is in Warstone Lane Cemetery. Another inspiration was the blue brick pavements around the Jewellery Quarter themselves – replacing cobblestones with blue bricks was the brainchild of Thomas Walker, who was a buckle maker and town councillor. Although much better for walking and driving horses and carts on, blue bricks can be slippery in the rain, so were often patterned. Golden square has modern blue bricks with patterns inspired by pen nibs and fly presses.

Mehar Khan
Alison Wattis

The Heritage Creatives have exhibited at Birchfield Jazz Festival and St Paul’s Fete this year, and will continue to work with JQ Townscape Heritage Project in 2022, preparing for a huge exhibition that marks the end of the project!

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: