The results of a £2.3m project to restore historic cemeteries in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter were unveiled during a special ceremony.
A memorial stone was revealed as part of the new Garden of Memory at Warstone Lane Cemetery, which has also seen its historic catacombs restored as part of the Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries Project, on 31 August 2021.
The scheme – funded in partnership between the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Birmingham City Council and Jewellery Quarter Development Trust – also saw restoration works carried out at Key Hill Cemetery.
With Key Hill established in 1836 and Warstone Lane in 1848, these are the city’s oldest garden cemeteries, and both are listed for their historical importance.
This ceremony marked the end of the project’s capital works programme which saw gates, walls, railings and catacombs restored as well as improvements to the cemeteries’ landscaping, pathways, drainage and chapel footprint garden – including the memorial stone.
Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities, who unveiled the memorial stone, said: “This project has been over 10 years in the making and seeing the difference these works haves made to these historic cemeteries is amazing.
“With the transformation of Key Hill and Warstone Lane cemeteries, the stage is now set for a new era for these historic green spaces for the local community, families and visitors to appreciate for many years to come.”
Josie Wall, Activities Programme Manager for the Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries Project, said: “The unveiling was a chance to celebrate the culmination of two years of restoration work in the cemeteries. These works have been a huge collective effort, and this was our chance to say thank you to all involved including the funders, contractors, volunteers and community stakeholders.
“It was also a great opportunity to look back at all the successes of our activities programme so far and look forward to upcoming events before the project ends in December.”
Restoration works were carried out by Midlands Conservation Ltd, Oakham Fabrications and HFN Landscapes and the project was also supported by volunteers from our community partners – the Friends of Key Hill and Warstone Lane Cemeteries and the Jewellery Quarter Research Trust.