30th August 2017
Wisbech Society and the Friends of Wisbech General Cemetery welcome visitors
Wisbech Society and the Friends of Wisbech General Cemetery are marking Heritage Open Day 2017 by inviting townsfolk to visit Wisbech General Cemetery between 10am and 4pm on 9 September.
Wisbech Society will display plans for its Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) supported chapel restoration project, while the Friends will have the cemetery records to hand. Friends’ chairwoman Sue Beel will lead a guided tour of the cemetery from 2pm.
Wisbech Society was recently awarded a £303,800 Heritage Lottery Fund grant for the preservation and renovation of the cemetery’s chapel and monuments. Now it has received formal ‘Permission to Start’ from HLF, which means it can begin realising its plans for this most important part of the town’s heritage.
Opened in 1836, the General Cemetery is nationally significant as one of very few non-denominational burial places established in English towns and cities during Victorian times. It is also the resting place of several people of local significance, adding greatly to the town’s heritage and providing a rich resource for historians and researchers.
The Society is embarking upon an extensive restoration of the chapel, equipping it to modern standards for a wide variety of community and educational activities. Working with the Friends of Wisbech General Cemetery, Wisbech Society will also repair and restore gravestones, and co-ordinate the digitisation of cemetery records.
In addition, a booklet detailing its history will be produced. The total cost of works to the chapel will be £351,600 and the Society has pledged £15,000 towards this from its own resources. The Robert Hall Charity has offered £10,800, and the value of volunteer time contributions amounts to £19,000.
In its HLF submission, the Society committed to raise a minimum of £3,000 by way of a general appeal.
Heritage Open Day offers many more people the opportunity to see and learn more about the cemetery. Members of the Society’s project team, and Friends of Wisbech General Cemetery, will be on hand between 10am and 4pm on the 9th, explaining the project and detailing the work that’s about to commence.
Visitors will also be free to walk around the cemetery at their leisure, taking in its uniquely atmospheric setting.
Notes to editors:
About the Heritage Lottery Fund – Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.
The Wisbech Society and Preservation Trust Ltd Registered Office: 40 Alexandra Road, Wisbech, PE13 1HQ, England.
A charitable company, limited by guarantee – Registration No. 263115.
Company registered in England and Wales No. 350808