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Park Street Burial Ground

Lady Penelope

master brummie
Heard today that they are doing an archaeological dig before work commences on the new line. Apparently there is a notice posted in Park Street and they have fenced off the Park Street burial ground. Don't know any more as yet.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
yes pen we knew that a dig was going to happen before the HS2 work commenced but did not know when so thanks for the heads up..looks like it is imminent .....will try and take a closer look tomorrow see what the notice says

lyn
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Heard today that they are doing an archaeological dig before work commences on the new line. Apparently there is a notice posted in Park Street and they have fenced off the Park Street burial ground. Don't know any more as yet.

I would imagine they are going to remove any burial remains that might still be there as this is the usual procedure when building over old burial grounds.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
would think so phil...i also believe that the area around the fox and grapes will also be excavated again...really must keep our eyes and ears open now

lyn
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Yes they will remove remains before anything. When I visited the Archives a few weeks ago they showed us a map which had originally been made on tracing paper showing the graves, but which had broken into lots of fragments over the years . The HS2 people had paid the library to put all the fragments together so that they could see where the (known) graves were in an aid to the recovery of the remains
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
PARK ST BURIAL GROUND AND FOX AND GRAPES 018.JPG took a look today at the park st burial ground..as pen said surrounded by boards so i walked the length of them and the only gap i could find was about 3 inches wide...very hard to angle the camera but from what i could see all the remaining headstones bar one which is showing in the photo have gone...it kind of looks as if any remains that may have still been there have been taken away and the ground looks like it has been covered in some sort of bark...please do not take my word for this folks as it is only what i am presuming based on what i could see..they certainly did not want the public having a good view of this site

lyn

View attachment 121878
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
I've got photos from 2010 of Park Street Gardens with the grave stones. You may have seen them before.



 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
as i said earlier mort from what i could see it looks like all but 1 of the headstones has already gone along with any bodies left on the burial site...should imagine the ground will be totally flattened for HS2 is coming through:(

lyn
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for that Lyn, the penny had not dropped. I remember you making a point of some heritage that would be lost a while back.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
as some of you know this old burial ground has been taken over to make way for HS2..cant be certain but i think that any remaining bodies have now been removed along with all if not most of the headstones...here is an aerial view of the burial ground as it is now..on the right hand corner is the very old fox and grapes pub which will be demolished to also make way for HS2..in my opinion they have a lot to answer for:mad:

lyn

burial ground from the air.jpg
 
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Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thought I'd work through the earlier history of the burial ground from press reports. Here's a summary of what I found. It seems to have gone through a fairly controversial history, particularly concerning who controlled the funding for the ground and the purpose of the fund's use. And it all started out because a railway company wanted some of St Martin's land !

June 1848
£2000 received from London & NW Railway Co as compensation for the loss of part of St Martin's ground for a railway 'deviation' line. The money was to be placed in trust or similar for Birmingham inhabitants for the later purchase of a burial ground

July 1863
A notice was issued that the burial ground was closed except for burials in vaults or brick graves

November 1870
Park Street was showing neglect. Debate about who and how the Park Street fund was to be used. Restoration costs were estimated at £800

May 1871
Park Street had become neglected, especially the section near Freeman Street. Reports in the press of decaying gates and fences, brick walls with gaps in places. The section near St Bartholomew's had less tombstones.

January 1880
Under the Birmingham Closed Burial Grounds Act of 1878, Park Street and St Bartholomew's churchyard came into the hands of the Corporation. The grounds were converted into recreation grounds with nicely laid out gardens. St Bartholomew's had 12,000 sq yards and Park Street covered 14,400 sq yards

May 1959
Under the Birmingham Corporation Act of 1954 all remains of Park Street burials were to be removed


It seems from recent developments, however, that not all remains were removed in the 1950s.
Viv.
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
PARK STREET BURIAL GROUND EVALUATION, and Handsacre info...

 Burial Information Count – 13 articulated skeletons removed 8 adults & 5 juveniles (of which 3 are infants)
Density – initial results from 2 trenches (Tr. 4 & 6) is 0.72/m2, although high levels of variation already present
Depth – highest grave cut at c. 1.1m BGL (Trench 6) lowest grave cut at c. 3.9m BGL (Trench 6)
 Pre-cemetery archaeology identified Potential medieval ditches in Trench 4 Two large, undated pits in Trench 3

https://assets.publishing.service.g...79414/DJV_HSG_Presentation_-_Dec_2017_web.pdf
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
thanks ell...looks like some pretty old remains have been removed...would have gone up for a look but we would not get near...what i am waiting for is when they start digging up the car park between where the fox and grapes was and moor st station hopefully we will be able to watch and get some piccies...as already mentioned there maybe a viewing platform...fingers crossed

lyn
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
thanks mike..what a fantastic project this is going to be...absolutely fascinating...most know how against HS2 i am but every cloud as they say.....we will now be able to learn more about how people lived and died hundreds of years back and i just hope that the remains of these great brummies are given a proper re burial service (where ever that may be) that they surely deserve

lyn

A bit of info that may be of interest, as 1151 bodies were removed in 1894...

1807 opened as extra ground for St Martins
1846 portion bought by LNWR
1857 closed to ordinary burials
1873 no further graves opened
1879 Laid out as a park
1892 further portion sold to LNWR
1894 1151 coffins removed to Witton

Dr R.J. Hetherington in the 1950s
 

rosie

brummie
I bought a book about the excavations of the graveyard of St. Martin's in the Bull Ring, it was expensive but extremely thorough. Hopefully they will be as careful this time.
 
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