Your views on this area
I agree with Ellen. The council should concentrate on stopping drug users and hooligans from using the cemetery, rather than just closing off gates that are used by people who wish to treat the cemetery with respect. They need to think about how to look after the huge space well, instead of letting it become overgrown.
I remember in about 1990, myself,mother, grandmother and grandfather visited Arnos Vale, looking for the grave of my grandmothers sister Lynda Mary Redman sadly we were unable to find it.We stayed for a number of hours as it was so peaceful, we even had a flask of tea and some food.We travelled quite far that day.A year after i revisited the cemetery looking again for the above grave.At this time my grandmother was in an old peoples homw bless her.I am pleased to say that i found her sisters grave she was on 13months old. I spoke to my grandmother later that day,and told her that i had found her baby sisters grave,buried with her grandfather.My grandmother cried not of saddness but relief that we had found her.The next day my grandmother passed away. In total i have about 115 relatives buried at arnos vale.I remember paying £10 pounds for the actual burial sites, but you needed the names of the relatives you were looking for to be able to find out where exactly they were buried and what other relatives are buried with them.It is a shame that it has been left to deteriorate,i wish i could do something as my relatives r buried there but due to an illness am unable too,which saddens me.
Jonathan P. Flowers
My great grandfather Joseph O'Brien is buried in that cemetery. My wife and I recently toured the UK and during a stop over in Bristol, we took a cab to see the cemetery. How sad, it is like everything else in our western society today, decay and breakdown. Jonathan P. Flower(s), Dayton, Ohio, USA.
I love Arnos Vale. I visited it the other day and it is packed full of diversity and wonderful creatures. Very nice place.
I'm 11 years old and used to walk to school through the cemetery. It was a lovely, peaceful place to be in. But then the council shut our entrance, Copse Rd, so we cannot go in their.
I know this cemetary is not owned by Bristol City Council, but they should be ashamed that it has been allowed to deteriorate in this way. I was brought up in Totterdown and used to love visiting the graveyard. Looking at some of the tombs and graves is like walking in the history of Bristol. It is a fascinating place and deserves to be looked after for our future and past generations
Bob de Board
I lived in Belmont Road, Brislington from 1932, but our doctor, Dr. Fleming, lived in Knowle. So when I were poorly as a child, my mother and I had to walk along the Bath road, past the tramway depot and then up through Arnos Vale cemetary to his surgery, which was right at the top on the Wells Road.If you had to visit him after having the 'flu, it seemed like you walked for ever, especially if it was raining. But the prize at the end was a bottle of bright red Cherry Medicine, which was dispensed on the premises, wrapped in white paper and then sealed with red sealing wax. It was guaranteed to cure any thing from Whooping Cough to Constipation!
Coming home was all down hill and much easier.I used to run down, dodging between the headstones, one of which was my grandma's. But things were never the same after we changed to Dr. Pirie, who lived on Kensington Hill, which was only half a mile away. He was a good and sympathetic scottish doctor, but no more 'Cherry medicine', only white tablets. And no more walking up through Arnos Vale cemetary.
I think that it was all that hill-walking that helped be so healthy today.And the cherry medicine.
Arnos Vale is deeply ingrained in my psyche after many visits there to lay flowers on relation's graves during my childhood. The smell and feel of chrysanthemums never fails to remind me of walking up the hill past the mourning angels, although I was too young to really understand what it was all about. I no longer live in Bristol but am saddened by the disrepair and unkempt look of the place as seen on the BBC programme 'Restoration' and here, on this website. Please someone take pity, there is an enormous wealth of history lying quietly here.
Postcript - there is an Arnos Vale in the Caribbean. Is there any connection given Bristol's past association with that part of the world?
I agree with the comments made by J Nankivell. I have been trying locate a relatives grave and so far have been unable to do so because so many of the graves are covered in ivy, trees and bracken and all manner of plantlife that has overtaken every corner of the cemetery. While it may be a haven for wildlife, that was not what it was intended to be! It was intended to be the last resting place for Bristolians and a place where the families could visit and remember their loved ones. I know plenty of cemeteries with tons of wildlife. They do not have to be overgrown to encourage it. I'm sure there would be plenty of volunteers who would help clean it up.
i use to live 8 Arno St Totterdown this was our playground.I still remember Black Belgium horses clickity clacking into the cemetary the smell of newly baked bread from the bakery just out side the top gates.
Hoping to one day visit this cemetery where my ancestors are buried. Also hoping it will be properly taken care of by then... James Wallace; Columbus, Wisconsin, United States