- Format: Paperback
- ISBN: 978-0-7190-9735-5
- Pages: 444
- Publisher: Manchester University Press
- Price: £25.99
- Published Date: May 2015
- BIC Category: Humanities / British & Irish history, History, United Kingdom, Great Britain, Sociology: death & dying, Social & cultural history, Society & social sciences / Sociology: death & dying, Humanities / Social & cultural history, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, European history, Archaeology
This book explores the turbulent social history of churchyards and cemeteries over the last 150 years. Using sites from across rural North Yorkshire, the text examines the workings of the Burial Acts and discloses the ways in which religious politics framed burial management. It presents an alternative history of burial which questions notions of tradition and modernity, and challenges long-standing assumptions about changing attitudes towards mortality in England.
This study, available in paperback for the first time, diverges from the long-standing tendency to regard the churchyard as inherently 'traditional' and the cemetery as essentially 'modern'. Since 1850, both types of site have been subject to the influence of new expectations that burial space would guarantee family burial and the opportunity for formal commemoration. Although the population in central North Yorkshire declined, demand for burial space rose, meaning that many dozens of churchyards were extended, and forty new cemeteries were laid out.
The book is 'well-conceived, meticulously undertaken, rich and highly nuanced'
'anyone bent on writing seriously about almost any aspect of burial ground provision in England and Wales from the 1850s onwards will ignore this book at their peril'., Stephen White, Ecclesiastical Law Journal, 10 February 2015
Julie Rugg is a Senior Research Fellow and heads the Cemetery Research Group at the University of York
1. Burial in 1850: national and local contexts
2. 'Dr Hoffman was good enough to consult me': churchyard closures
3. 'A very modern act': the Churchyard Consecration Act and churchyard extension
4. 'It was entirely a question for the parishioners': burial board management
5. 'No differences are so deep as those which arise over the grave': the religious politics of burial
6. 'Casting into the great crucible of the present ferment all manner of time-honoured traditions': new legislative contexts for twentieth-century burial
7. 'It was a task which he would be greatly pleased to hand over to some other person or persons': centralisation and cemeteries, 1894-1974
8. 'Being desirous of avoiding a burial board': the churchyard as cemetery
9. 'Unobservable or inconspicuous to the casual visitor'?: the changing churchyard landscape
10. 'Thoroughly untidy': changing burial culture, 1850-2007