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Wisbech General Cemetery: A Heritage Lottery Funded Project.

A project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which aims to restore and make good use of the General Cemetery's Chapel, in the heart of Wisbech

After a long and detailed process of application, Wisbech Society is delighted to announce the award of a £303,800 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant to continue its work in Wisbech General Cemetery.

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.

Now the Society is preparing for the next stage in its ambitious plans for the site, including 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.

In this initial release, the team behind the successful application would like to thank the Wisbech businesses and individual residents who have helped turn their vision into reality. Thanks also go to National Lottery players who have made this funding possible. Now the quest is on to garner further support that will help turn a nationally significant part of Wisbech into an asset available for the enjoyment of all.

Further project news and Heritage Lottery Fund comments will be released early in May, along with the opportunity for photographs and interviews.

For further information about the National Lottery grant and Wisbech General Cemetery contact David Crouch on or Paul E Eden, Wisbech Society Press Officer, on

Ladychapel, Wisbech General Cemetary

Wisbech Society and the Friends of Leverington Road Cemetery announce Heritage Weekend events for 10 and 11 September, 2016

Friends of Wisbech General Cemetery will be on hand between 10am and 4pm across Heritage Weekend, 10/11 September 2016, equipped with maps and a list of those interred in the cemetery for visitors interested in family research.

The Wisbech Society will also be present, explaining its exciting plans, using Heritage Lottery Funding, to bring the cemetery’s chapel back into community use. There will be displays from the Fenland Family History Society and the Fenland Focus Forum, plus activities for children, including a demonstration by Peckover School of tile making for the restoration of the chapel floor.

Two guided walks are also available. On Saturday, 10 September, Sue Beel, Chair of the Friends, will lead visitors around the cemetery from 2pm. On Sunday, 11 September, Peter Clayton, of Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House, will begin his ‘Local Heroes’ walk, also at 2pm.

This attractive, peaceful corner of Wisbech originated in 1836 as one of the first Victorian burial grounds in the country. Primarily for non-conformist burials, it became the final resting place of many prominent Wisbech residents over the next century.

Covering approximately 3 acres, the cemetery was laid out as a formal garden with gravel pathways, lawns, trees and flowering shrubs, following the style of the latest cemeteries in London and Paris.

Today, as well as being a historical treasure, it is a woodland habitat and wildlife haven of a type rare in this part of Fenland.


Wisbech's classical Georgian North Brink