Smallcombe Garden Cemetery is an enchanting place in a very beautiful and largely hidden valley. Surprisingly rich in wildlife for a site so close to the centre of Bath, Smallcombe is surrounded by gentle hillside pastures and ancient woodland, and is arguably one of Bath’s most affecting Victorian green spaces, but by 2013 it was in a sorry state.
We tapped into the affection in which Smallcombe was held to build a £75,000 restoration project. Completed in 2017 and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), BathNES Council and the sponsors listed below, it attracted many hundreds of hours of volunteer support from people and businesses across the city which was valued by the HLF at a further £206,000.
Our restoration has made for safer and easier public access. In addition, a new path links Smallcombe to National Trust land, creating a popular circular walk of especially dramatic contrasts and views, via an ancient wood and the Skyline Walk.
Such was the level of popular support and the sensitivity of the restoration that World Heritage Site Manager at Bath & N E Somerset Council, Tony Crouch, commented:
“A great project. Surely a ‘best practice’ model of how a community run
Heritage Lottery funded project should operate. Well done all.
There was one exception, however, to the scope of our restoration: the privately owned Anglican Chapel. It is an elegant building in the gothic-revival style with a particularly significant heritage provenance. It is now in urgent need of restoration if it too is to be saved. Unexpectedly, an opportunity has arisen to rescue the chapel and make it available for a variety of new community uses.
The New Opportunity: Please click here for more information.
Steve Kerss, Project Director