The aim of the Friends of Bedford Cemetery (FOBC) is to promote the environmental, cultural and historical benefits of the Victorian Cemetery and Chapel at Foster Hill Road. One specific objective is to encourage schools to make use of all this unique heritage site offers.
A huge variety of people from Victorian Bedford (and later) are buried here, some of whom were significant in influencing the working practice of their profession. These include the Pioneering Women of Bedford whose memorials we have recently marked with special plaques.
There are 100,000 graves and 50,000 memorials and gravestones, including a number of military memorials relating to WW1 & WW2, and smaller campaigns and hostilities.
The cemetery is a fascinating place to explore. Part of the grounds is a designated County Wildlife Site containing rare species of plant, including orchids and lichens. Throughout the year, many varieties of birds, butterflies and other creatures make use of the undisturbed setting. It is also an Arboretum and contains old and unusual trees.
Working with other cultural providers FOBC could support schools in providing a wide range of educational and cultural activities (curriculum appropriate); assisted research, history tours, arts & crafts to name a few.
Pioneering Women of Bedford: 2018 saw the centenary of some women being given the vote and there were many national initiatives to highlight the achievements of women.
There are some remarkable women that buried in the Cemetery and they were included them in a themed guided walk. This link gives brief outlines of their achievements.
The Richard Wildman Memorial Award for Schools (a new initiative, more information will be provided in due course).
The FOBC have been given permission by Bedford Borough Council to hire out a number of rooms within the chapel. The layout of the chapel rooms and terms and conditions can be found on the FOBC website.
The current pricing structure is as follows:
Option 1 – Use of Inner and Outer meetings rooms (includes use of kitchen and toilets) £10 per hour
Option 2 – As above plus use of Nave £20 per hour
The cemetery grounds are open to the public and incur no charge for use although a small fee may be charged for FOBC guided waks/tours of the graves and grounds.
By working in partnership with other cultural providers the chapel and grounds offer schools and other organisations a unique, beautiful and peaceful space to hold workshops/arts & crafts/health & wellbeing activities that could support and complement team building/staff training.
Samantha Smith, Bereavement Services, Bedford Borough Council, Norse Road Cemetery & Crematorium, 104 Norse Road, Bedford. Telephone - 01234 276852 (Internal 44852)
Safeguarding policy in place.
Ms Sue Parsons
Foster Hill Road Cemetery, Foster Hill Road, Bedford, MK41 7TD