Watch: I visited the Birmingham’s catacombs and was totally stunned at the tales behind the tombs

It’s one of Birmingham’s ultimate hidden gems - and the catacombs in the Jewellery Quarter are full of fascinating heritage

Unbeknown to many, Warstone Lane Cemetery in the Jewellery Quarter is home to Birmingham’s very own catacombs. Buried behind this stunning two tiered structure resembling a Roman Amphitheatre are thousands of stories telling us the rich and often gristly history of the heart of England.

Kevin Thomas, Tour Guide for Birmingham Walking Tours, says: “It was here because during the Industrial Revolution, people were pouring in to the Jewellery Quarter and Birmingham itself, and there just weren’t enough small churches to accommodate the dying. And what you can see behind me is this amazing two tier crescent shaped Victorian catacombs.”

Despite its Georgian style, this cemetery and its catacombs were built in the Victorian era. Heavily bombed during the second world war, the structure remains in place. The catacombs have been closed in recent years, but this cemetery is the resting place for many significant local people.

One example is William Edward Hipkins, born in 1857 - tragically perishing in the Titanic disaster. An important industrialist of the Victorian era. There is also Isherwood Sutcliffe whose monument is a broken oak tree covered in symbolism representing his character.

Also buried here is George Manley - an Arch Druid of the Ancient Order of Druids. A stange inclusion in a Church of England graveyard, but a man of great accomplishment. While the catacombs themselves are no longer used, this area - the only real green space in the Jewellery Quarter - is now used for Yoga and often Theatre Productions.

Grave of Isherwood Sutcliffe in Birmingham
Grave of Isherwood Sutcliffe in Birmingham
Grave of Isherwood Sutcliffe in Birmingham