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London Road Cemetery: Paxton’s Arboretum

Description

London Road Cemetery: Paxton’s Arboretum is one of the earliest garden cemeteries in the country, designed by Joseph Paxton and now a Grade I listed park and garden.

By the 1840s Coventry’s provision for burials had not kept pace with the growing city and the Board of Health stated that the city’s high mortality rate was aggravated by the inadequate city centre burial grounds. In 1845 Joseph Paxton (who also designed the Crystal Palace) was appointed to design and lay out a new public cemetery on a former quarry on the edge of Coventry. During the 1800s Joseph Paxton brought back many exotic plants and trees from America and many of these are featured in the cemetery including notable candelabra limes, purple beech, oak and elm trees. A contemporary account described the cemetery as having ‘more the air of gentlemen’s park than a city of the dead’. Two cemetery chapels, a non-Conformist chapel designed to look like a classical temple and an Anglican Chapel in a Norman style, survive. In the south-east corner there is a Jewish cemetery with a 20th-century brick chapel.

London Road Cemetery had fallen into disrepair and thanks to National lottery players and working with Historic Coventry Trust, Coventry City Council recently completed a restoration project including repair of the Anglican Chapel, restoration of the promenade, mortuary chapel and bier store.

The beautiful and newly restored 19th Century Anglican Chapel is available for weddings, corporate or private hire.

Address: London Rd, Coventry CV1 2JT

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