27th Jun, 2022

Historic Coventry cemetery in line for £2m Lottery restoration

Coventry Editorial 30th Jun, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

COVENTRY’S historic London Road Cemetery is among 16 sites around the country in line for a share of £34m Lottery cash.

The Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund have made the grants under the ‘Parks for People’ scheme to help some of the UK’s “most precious, yet tired green spaces”.

A £2million grant has been earmarked to help restore the Grade 1 Listed cemetery to its former glory as a popular city park – as it was when it was created by designer Joseph Paxton in 1845.

The money would enable the council to return it to its original design, repairing major features such as the Promenade and chapel, as well as monuments and graves.

The project would include opportunites for children to learn more about the important Victorians buried there, who had a major influence on Coventry’s engineering history.

Coouncillor Rachel Lancaster, cabinet member for public services, said: “London Road is an amazing site, of which the city should be very proud.

“This grant money will help us to not only return the cemetery to its wonderful original design, but to make sure the stories of the site and the people buried there are not forgotten.

“Coventry is a city that is very proud of its history and this really can be a jewel in our heritage crown. If you have never visited the cemetery before, I really suggest you take a look and see just how good it is.”

The cemetery is included in 70-acres around Coventry city centre which the Historic Coventry Trust wants to become a Heritage Park.

Trust chairman Ian Harrabin said: “The council has done incredibly well in securing almost all of the funding needed to restore Joseph Paxton’s arboretum cemetery.

“Coming so soon after the approval of £4.7m for the Charterhouse, this is a huge vote of confidence in the ambitious Heritage Park project and recognition of the visionary change that the park and indeed the city’s heritage overall can make for the future.

“The early grant approval means that major progress will be made on restoring an outstanding landscape in time for the City of Culture bid. It really shows what can be achieved if we all pull together.”

The cemetery was designed as an arboretum, with many new species of trees and combines a cemetery and a park over a seven hectare site and also includes three chapels.

The ageing cemetery and its buildings are now in need of repair, with storms, wear and tear and vandalism causing problems. Few of the graves are in good repair.

Support community journalism by making a contribution

The Coventry Observer's team of journalists provide a trusted source of news, sport, entertainment and events going on in your area and issues which matter to you - both via our free weekly print edition and daily updates on our website.

Every contribution, however big or small, you can make will help us continue to do that now and in the future.

Thanks for reading this and the Coventry Observer.


Support Us

Are you on Facebook?

Like or follow our Facebook page - facebook.com/CovObserver to get daily news updates straight to your news feed.

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.

Buy Photos

Buy photos online from the Coventry Observer newspaper.

Subscribe

Receive a weekly update to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter.

Printing

We can provide all of your printing needs at competitive rates.