Brandwood End Cemetery Chapels, Birmingham (Grade II-listed, 1898, J Brewill Holmes)
The red brick, neo-gothic mortuary chapels that stand at the highest point of Brandwood End cemetery grounds provide a dramatic central focus for the cemetery. But drama that should be evoked by the striking symmetrical design is in fact compounded by the terrible state they are in. Closed for over 30 years, they suffered a serious arson attack in 1995 which gutted the north-east chapel. A Friends group was set up in 2005 and several years later plans were underway to be part of a joint bid with Birmingham City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund for funding to restore the chapels; but in 2012 the newly-elected BCC unfortunately withdrew from the project, attributing their withdrawal to austerity measures. Pictures are here.
Christopher Costelloe, Director of the Victorian Society, said: “This is the first time in many years we have had two buildings from the West Midlands feature on the final top 10 list. Both these sites are in a very bad way and have been let down by those who should be their custodians. But there is still time for them to be regenerated and brought back into use as buildings the communities can be proud of.”