New owner for historic Coventry chapel after £2m cemetery restoration

Completion of a £2m project to restore Coventry’s London Road Cemetery has culminated in the transfer of ownership of its centrepiece Anglican Chapel to Historic Coventry Trust ownership.

The Trust has been working with Coventry City Council for the last eight years to restore the Grade I listed London Road Cemetery, designed by Joseph Paxton as an arboretum in 1847.

The charity completed the new 250-year lease at a signing ceremony held at the chapel with Cllr Ann Lucas, the emeritus Lord Mayor of Coventry, and cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, Cllr Jim O’Boyle handing over the property from council ownership.

Representing Historic Coventry Trust were chairman Ian Harrabin and secretary John Ruddick as well as Charterhouse general manager Hannah Jones, who will manage the property.

The work also included the linking of the cemetery through a re-opened historic arch under the Terrace Walk to Charterhouse, with a new crossing over London Road which will be finished this month. The crossing will combine the cemetery and Charterhouse sites to form the 70-acre heritage park as a major visitor attraction.

Historic Coventry Trust started a further £200,000 project in March to install an underfloor heating system in the Anglican Chapel which is powered by an eco-friendly air-sourced heat pump.
The remainder of the cemetery will remain in council ownership with Historic Coventry Trust contracted to run activities and events as well as organise volunteering.

Caption: Cllr Ann Lucas (Coventry City Council) and Ian Harrabin (Historic Coventry Trust) complete the signing of the 250-year lease with, back, from the left, Cllr Jim O’Boyle (Coventry City Council), Hannah Jones (Historic Coventry Trust) and John Ruddick (Historic Coventry Trust)