The oldest cemetery in Birmingham* was only a block or two away from Warstone Lane Cemetery, and when I arrived I was greeted with a riot of colour. Being spring, all the bluebells were in bloom across the UK, but it was here that I was bombarded with, let’s face it, flowers that are more purple bells than blue. But as these flowers are rare to see in Japan it was a lovely addition to what is often a pretty monochromatic landscape.
This cemetery had a large flat-ish section at ground level, with a separate path going up the hill to the left. Unfortunately though, the paths did not loop around or go into all sections of the cemetery, so once I reached the end of it I basically had to backtrack to where I started. If it weren’t for the bluebells, I probably would have crossed over on the grounds, but as there were signs imploring people to protect the flowers, I respected the request.
Like Warstone Lane cemetery, there were a couple of monuments/memorials to the fallen of WWI, and the other stones scattered throughout the grounds were in various states of disrepair – the majority standing, but many faded, broken, or fallen over.
With the trees still mostly bare from the winter, there was a lot of open, soft light from the grey clouds above, which made it quite nice to photograph the bluebells.
I found this to be a lovely little cemetery to visit, and highly recommend going in the spring when the bluebells are in bloom.
Monuments: Fairly common monuments, a few relief structures, but many are worn and hard to read.
Grounds: Mostly level with one higher area off to the side. The paths are mostly kept clear.
Site: Key Hill Cemetery (aka Birmingham General Cemetery)
Established: 1836* (non-denominational)
Notable Internments: Alfred Bird (maker of Bird’s Custard), Marie Bethell Beauclerc (first female reporter in England), Joseph Chamberlain, Joseph Gillott (pen manufacturer), John Wellington Starr (inventor of the incandescent light bulb)
Location: Icknield Street, Birmingham, not far from Warstone Lane Cemetery
Hours: Open 24 hours a day
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