May 30, 2019

Exhibitor Spotlight: The Friends of Key Hill Cemetery and Warstone Lane Cemetery

by admin in Uncategorised

The Friends of Key Hill Cemetery and Warstone Lane Cemetery are a group of volunteers working to preserve, research, inform and promote these important historic and interesting cemeteries.

Established in 2004, they are the only group to maintain the cemeteries, restore headstones and research the lives of those who rest there.

The organisations aim is to raise funds for the restoration of the broken headstones. This is achieved through guided tours, memberships, sales and donations at open days in the cemeteries and attending local history fairs (including the Jewellery Quarter Festival and Heritage week).


Key Hill Cemetery [Image Source: Wikipedia]

Guided Tours of both cemeteries are held on the second Sunday of every month (except for December) and private tours for groups and societies can be arranged. The Friends hold regular clean up days and open days where volunteers can assist the public in locating their family plot number.

Both cemeteries are located in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter in Hockley and are listed on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. There are several notable people who rest in these two historic cemeteries.


Warstone Lane Cemetery [Image Source: Wikipedia]

You can contact the Friends for a membership form if you are interested in becoming a member. Membership entitles you to free guided tours and you will also receive a periodic Mourning News, newsletter!

The organisation has recently contributed to the new gravestones of Constance Naden (Poet and Philosopher) who rests in Key Hill Cemetery and Major Harry Gem (Co-Founder of Lawn Tennis) who rests nearby Warstone Lane Cemetery.


Key Hill Cemetery notice board [Image Source: Find a Grave]

 Cemeteries are fascinating places that allow you to discover and learn about those who have long since passed.

Here are a few notable people who are buried in Key Hill Cemetery:


Joseph Chamberlain – three times Lord Mayor

Joseph Gillott – Pen Maker

Harriet Martineau – Author and Philosopher

Joseph Tangye – Industrialist

John Skirrow Wright – Creator of the Postal Order

Alfred Bird – Creator of Eggless Custard

Constance Naden – Poet and Philosopher

Marie Bethell Beauclerc – the First Female Reporter, Pitman Shorthand

Robert Lucas Chance – Chance Bro’s Glass (Crystal Palace)

William Murphy – Anti Papal Lecturer “Murphy” Riots

Thomas Avery – Scales M.P. Develop Saltley sewage works

A few notable people who are buried in Warstone Lane Cemetery:


John Baskerville – Printer and Typographer

Private James Cooper – Soldier, awarded the V.C

Major Thomas “Harry” Gem – Co-founder of Lawn Tennis

William Chance – Glass Manufacturer

Dr. Pye Chavasse – Medical Author

Jacob Wilson – the last Town Crier

John Postgate – Surgeon and Food Safety Campaigner


Thirteen Mayors/ Lord Mayors rest in these two historic Cemeteries including, Industrialists, Jewellers, Pen Manufacturers, Button Makers and Toy Makers.

Did you know: Key Hill Cemetery is Non-conformist and was Birmingham's first ever Cemetery!
Did you know: Warstone Lane Cemetery is a Church of England Cemetery!
Why not come and discover Birmingham’s History?


Tour Dates for 2019

The second Sunday of every month (except December)

9 June

14 July

11 August

8 September

13 October

10 November

Guided tours of Warstone Lane Cemetery

The tour starts at 12 noon and the meeting point is in Pitsford Street entrance.

Guided tours of Key Hill Cemetery formally known as General Cemetery

The tour begins at 2pm and the meeting point is at central island in Key Hill Cemetery.

Tour Fees:

£3.00 per person, per cemetery.

£5.00 per couple per cemetery.

All tours are free for members of the Friends of Key Hill Cemetery and Warstone Lane Cemetery.

All proceeds from tours memberships, history fairs, open days, sales and donations pay for the restoration of the headstones.


Why not check out their website today?

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