Matthew Pridham 2013

University of Strathclyde, UK

Social characteristics of deposits in the terrace Catacombs at Highgate Cemetery

This paper is taken from a dissertation which is the first large scale study focussing on a substantial group of individuals deposited in catacombs over a significant time period.  It summarises a variety of social characteristics of more than 600 people deposited in the Terrace Catacombs in Highgate Cemetery, London, during 1839-1878.  Using primary records, the demographics, occupations, prosperity, residence at time of death and relationships to others interred in the Terrace Catacombs are shown. The data reveal a largely homogeneous social group of prosperous people mostly from residential areas near to Highgate. Examination of who purchased the loculus shows when and by whom the interment decision was made.  One in five of those leaving a will left some type of instruction in their will concerning interment or mourning.  These individuals document Victorian attitudes to death. 


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