The Cemetery Research Group arose as a consequence of cross-disciplinary bid by staff across the University of York to answer a very specific question: what happens when cemeteries fill up? The roof of York Cemetery’s chapel had collapsed and 1987 saw the short-lived but long-remembered scandal of Westminster Council selling three of its cemeteries for five pence each in an attempt to save hundreds of thousands in maintenance costs.
The group secured funding from the ESRC for a project that combined archaeological recording and policy analysis, leading to the production of the report The Management of Old Cemetery Land by Julie Rugg and Julie Dunk. Julie Dunk is now the CEO of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management. Dr Julie Rugg has since continued holding the Cemetery Research Group banner at the University of York. This website reflects over 30 years’ work in cemetery studies.
The Cemetery Research Group in 1991, visiting Undercliffe Cemetery, Bradford during the Memorial Advisory Seminar. The image is from the MAB Bulletin of that year.