Download Image of the Hockley Cemetery on Warstone Lane in Birmingham.

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Birmingham : Hockley Cemetery on Warstone Lane [c.1960]

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The Church of England Cemetery, Warstone, Birmingham, was consecrated on Tuesday, August 8th, 1848. It was established by a proprietary of £20,000, raised in shares of £10 each. The purchase consisted of 16 acres of land, of which 9 acres were enclosed and consecrated. The Church of the cemetery is in what is called the third pointed perpendicular style of architecture, having a nave, chancel, tower and spire, it being thought proper to provide a place in which to administer the Holy Sacrament, to mourners under grief for the loss of their friends requiring such service or consolation. The nave of the building was formed by the introduction of a handsome open stone screen at the entrance, which, while separating that portion of the building intended for the burial service from that which is open to the people, was kept so low as not to interfere with the proportions of the interior, or to interscept the view through the tower arch of the lower west window. The nave had a fine open roof. Ranges of carved seats were placed on each side for those who attend the burial service, and in the centre of the nave was an ornamented stand for the bier, whence, by means of Bramah's hydraulic machine, the coffins were let down to the vaults below, and by a subterranean passage conveyed to the circular catacombs. The chancel was of ample dimensions, with a fine east window of three lights, fitted with stained glass, presented by Mr. W. Chance to the company, executed at his works. The roof was boarded with neat panelled work, and the floor laid with encaustic tiles, while that of the nave was plain chequered squares. The tower was formed at the base by three massive archways intended as a porch for the hearses. The architect introduced cloisters, or ambulatory, extending north and south of the main entrance. This feature was quite unique in this country during construction. These cloisters were cut off from the body of the chapel, and had a doorway to each on the eastern side, communicating with the grounds. This ambulatory was 150 feet in length, having a long range of rich windows in the western front, and blank recesses of corresponding tracery for the reception of monuments on the other, seats having been formed out of the window sills, and recesses on each side for the accommodation of those who frequented them. This place was long a neglected sand pit, which formed a regular circle, and two ranges of catacombs were constructed in the banks faced with rough battlemented stonework. These, when seen at a distance, formed a sort of basement to the main building, crowning the summit of the hill.

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