This list includes abstracts from the Colloquium since 2005. Papers from the Virtual Colloquium held in November 2023 are marked [v].

Janine Marriott 2022

Arnos Vale Trust, Bristol, UK

The never-ending spreadsheet of historic cemeteries in the UK and Ireland

When I began my research, I naively believed there would be a complete list of all the cemeteries in the UK and Ireland that I could use to underpin my research on public engagement. I was wrong, so I began one. This is a review of the interesting information I discovered whilst attempting this Sisyphean task; the lessons about the development of these sites that I learnt along the way – when does a cemetery start being a cemetery, […]

Ole Jensen 2022

The Open University, UK

‘We are like sugar in the milk’: Interpreting the Zoroastrian burial ground in Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey

The Zoroastrian burial ground in Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey, was opened in 1862 and constitutes a continuing record of Zoroastrian presence in the UK. The only burial ground of its kind in Europe, it adds to a continuing narrative of how the Zoroastrian diaspora adapts to changing political and cultural circumstances. Accordingly, the phrase We are like sugar in the milk refers to how Zoroastrians will merge into, and contribute positively to, a host society. Whereas Zoroastrian burial practices in South Asia and Iran are carried out as sky burials in ‘towers of silence’, […]

Stephen Rowland and Louise Loe 2022

Oxford Archaeology

Trinity Burial Ground, Kingston upon Hull: archaeological investigations in association with the A63 Castle Street Improvement Scheme

Trinity Burial Ground on Castle Street, Kingston upon Hull, was opened in 1785 as an off-site expansion to the small graveyard that has lain around Holy Trinity Church, in the town centre, since the thirteenth century. Authorised by Act of Parliament in 1783, Trinity Burial Ground was one of the first civil institutions to be built beyond the town walls, as the corporation broke the bounds of the medieval defences. The period saw the construction of a succession of purpose-built docks and the rapid expansion of commerce, […]

Tamara Ingels 2022

INTRO Cultuur & Media, Belgium

Combining primary, secondary and tertiary functions in cemetery management

We cannot overlook the primary function of our cemeteries, giving our dead their final resting place. However, the past few years, a lot of contemporary secondary and tertiary functions and uses have been developed on cemeteries in many European cities and municipalities. Local residents have discovered the secondary uses of cemeteries as places to find peace and quiet within their living environments, tourists and educational groups have discovered the historic cemeteries as places to discover the history of death and dying (tertiary). […]

Yiannis Papadakis and Trine Sauning Willert 2022

University of Cyprus and The Greek Institute

Deathscapes, erasures and posthumous identities: a comparison of cemeteries in Denmark and Cyprus

This is a study of deathscapes at the margins of Europe, Denmark and Cyprus, focusing on cemeteries in their respective capitals. By employing comparison and situating the emergence of cemeteries within the two societies’ different socio-historical trajectories, we challenge key assumptions on cemeteries put forth by historians and sociologists related to cemeteries’ inexorable secularisation and the democratic prerogative of everyone, not just the elites, to their posthumous presence as named individuals. Specifically, we show how in Denmark’s case the predominance of social democracy entailed a preference for erasure in communal, […]


The Cemetery Research Group runs two events a year: in May and in November. Follow the links and send in an abstract