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Heritage Lottery Fund cash for Victorian Cemetery project

Open day September 11 - discover beautiful and tranquil place

The Friends of Boston Cemetery are currently putting the final touches to their Heritage Open Days event on Sunday, September 11, with an added spring in their step. The group has recently been awarded £8,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help them take the first steps in their aim of restoring and conserving the original features of Boston's cemetery.

Working in partnership with Boston Borough Council and Heritage Lincolnshire, the project will update an earlier condition survey of the Victorian chapel, carry out a bat survey (a protected species) and help the group gain official status independent of the council, putting them in a stronger position to apply for further funding as the project develops.

Crucially, the project also seeks to consult key stakeholders and members of the public about potential future uses for the chapel and to decide what might be most suitable.

Gail Graham, the Heritage Development Officer for Boston Borough Council, said, "Boston Cemetery is a beautiful place and a tranquil space and anyone who visits agrees. The group is keen to ensure the wonderful Victorian buildings are brought back into use and the cemetery grounds restored but remain a haven for wildlife. The grant from the HLF is vital in establishing the group and getting things started."

Members of the public who visit the event on September 11 will have a chance to read more about the HLF project and offer some feedback on what they think a good future use of the chapel could be. In addition, the Friends have also been working hard on a number of new exhibitions which will be on display in the crematorium chapel, offering more detail about the original Victorian buildings, the wonderful collection of plants and trees in the cemetery grounds and the social attitudes about death and burial in the 19th century.

The Victorian Cemetery will be open from 10.30am to 4pm on September 11, with free guided tours during the day and a chance to see inside the chapel and the old mortuary building. Nature tours will take place at 11am and 2pm and gravestone tours at noon and 3pm. Parking is available on site and the group is also providing refreshments.

The open day follows on from the first successful event held in June when residents and visitors took the opportunity to spend time exploring "a beautiful space and a tranquil place".

Boston Cemetery 1860 Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Boston Cemetery as it looked in 1860