Ole Jensen 2020

The Open University, UK

The living and the dead: exploring minority burial grounds in Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey

Brookwood Cemetery holds the highest concentration of minority burial grounds in the UK, including the first Zoroastrian burial ground established in Europe (1862), as well as a wide range of Muslim burial grounds. While previously largely undocumented, the project will work with Surrey History Centre to make the burial grounds more widely known and understood. Alongside a systematic collection of documentation, 30 volunteer-led oral history interviews will explore memories of remembrance, collective identity and belonging. This presentation will address the objectives and design of a Lottery-funded project aimed at documenting the history and continued significance of minority burial grounds in Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey, and raise popular awareness of the cultural heritage resource these burial grounds represent. The project perceives the burial grounds as continuously emerging landscapes of memory, linking death, cultural identity and notions of community and homeland, and it is based on the premise that a wider awareness of the history of the burial grounds can benefit the broader comprehension of the historical and contemporary nature of a multicultural Britain.


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