Warstone Lane and Key Hill Cemetry are now among other Jewellery Quarter sites to be optioned for a transformation.

These cataccombs can be seen at Warstone Lane Cemetery
These catacombs can be seen at Warstone Lane Cemetery

Well, we say transformation but it’s more like an additional feature.  Plans have been submitted for both of the cemeteries, that play host to some of Birmingham’s notable people, to have a Garden of Memory.

The prospective Garden of Memory will be created on the site of a chapel which had stood in one of the city’s most historic cemeteries. The garden is a means of drawing in more footfall into the Jewellery Quarter.

The scheme revolves around a new ‘garden of memory and reflection’ at the place where the chapel of St Michael and All Angels formerly stood prior to being demolished in 1958 following the damage that was caused by bombings during the war.

You can find information about the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter’s famous cemeteries by clicking here.

Warstone Cemetery currently has plans in place as the council will create a tall memorial stone that will bear historical images in an outline of the old chapel with included seating and paving.

A council spokesman commented on the plans: “There is currently no trace of the former chapel, which was called St Michael and All Angels, as it was demolished in 1958 after suffering some bomb damage in the war. The area is consequently free from burial plots though there are underground catacomb chambers. In more recent years, it has become a garden area with a lawn, ornamental shrubs, trees and some seating.

The proposal involves retracing the outline of the chapel on the ground plane with a low raised stone plinth, areas of paving and showing the rhythm of the windows with seating.

Central to the design is a tall memorial stone on a low stone pedestal, engraved with historical images and descriptions. The former front entrance archway is replicated in size and scale by a new Corten steel arch. The arch can also be seen from key locations within the site even from the Icknield Road drive, drawing visitors to the garden and giving them a sense of understanding about the historical heritage and layout.

Plans should also see some long-awaited developments to both of the cemeteries that have been around from 1836!

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