'Ruined' – St Paul's, England - Atlas Obscura

AO Edited

'Ruined'

St Paul's, England

A unique sculpture cemetery dedicated to the region's defunct businesses.  

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To begin with, Brunswick Cemetery in Bristol was established circa 1770 and served as a Unitarian burial ground until 1963 when it became a public park. While it retained much of its historic features such as monuments, boundary walls, and a Georgian mortuary chapel, its past as a garden of remembrance was largely forgotten over time. 

In 2010, however, artist Hew Locke revitalized its role as a cemetery with a creative twist.

Now titled Ruined,” the former Unitarian cemetery is now home to a series of cast-iron grave markers, designed by Locke to evoke the long-forgotten histories of the dearly departed that they commemorate. Memorialized here are now-defunct, bankrupt, or taken-over companies of the past. Some of them are of local origin which contributed to the rise and fall of Bristol’s trade in the days of the British Empire.

The work received a Planting Places Award in 2011 and is now also known as Brunswick Cemetery Gardens.

Know Before You Go

The "cemetery" is open 24/7. Also worth noting, located a short walk away is "The Mild Mild West," the first known public artwork by the infamous artist Banksy.


From Brunswick Square, go through the alley on the right-hand side of the Unitarian Meeting House. The graves are on the far side of the cemetery, just to the right.

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February 14, 2022

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