Sunday, May 26, 2024

Celebrating Birmingham’s Burial Grounds

Have you ever wandered around a churchyard or cemetery and wondered about the lives of the people whose names are written on the stones? Are you interested in family history or the stories of the people from Birmingham’s past?
The Celebrating Birmingham’s Burial Grounds Project has digitally mapped five burial grounds in Birmingham; two churchyards, St Barnabas, Erdington & St Mary’s, Handsworth and three cemeteries Warstone Lane & Key Hill in the Jewellery Quarter and Brandwood End Cemetery and is now collecting the details and inscriptions from the memorials to add to the maps to create a searchable archive of each site.

‘Volunteers started collecting the information last summer and have been adding it to the maps over the winter, but we need more help’.

Georgina Sharp Community Coordinator for the project tells us: ‘We run monthly outdoor sessions in each burial ground collecting the inscriptions and other details and photographing the memorials and indoor sessions where we add the details to the map, the sessions are free and friendly and the only equipment you need are a coat and a sturdy pair of shoes”

Georgina goes on to tell us: “Burial grounds are full of stories; of remarkable people and of those whose lives are not documented anywhere else. They are the chronicles of our communities, telling us about of lives long lived and those cut tragically short, of travel, immigration, fashion, devotion, and status. They are fascinating places; our volunteers often head off after a session to find out more about someone they have ‘met’ whilst noting down details. The sessions are gently sociable, no special skills or experience are needed, everyone is welcome to join us.”

Coming up in May.

Outdoor Sessions Collecting the Inscriptions –

  • Wednesday 18th May 10:30 St Mary’s Churchyard, Handsworth, 2:30 Warstone Lane Cemetery (Jewellery Quarter)
  • Wednesday 1st June 2:30 Key Hill Cemetery (Jewellery Quarter)

Indoor Session adding the Inscriptions to the maps

  • Tuesday 10th May 10:30 Moseley Exchange, 2:30 Handsworth Library
  • Thursday 26th May 1:30 Jewellery Quarter Conference Centre

To find out more or to book a free place on any of the sessions please either visit www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/events or email
This project is an initiative of the burial ground conservation charity Caring for God’s Acre (caringforgodsacre.org.uk) and is funded by Historic England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The Garfield Weston Foundation.

About Caring for God’s Acre
Caring for Gods Acre is a non-religious conservation charity specifically interested in burial grounds. Established in 2000 as a national charity, promoting the conservation of burial sites and supporting the volunteers who look after and maintain them. There are around 20,000 burial grounds in England and Wales, ranging from small rural medieval churchyards to large Victorian city cemeteries, spanning different cultures, religions, and centuries.

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