How do we protect cemeteries?

In the UK, protection of important material cultural assets is achieved through ‘listing’. Listing is overseen by Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland, Cadw in Wales and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, which establish and apply the criteria for assessing the importance of a heritage asset. Listing protects the asset from destruction or inappropriate development.

‘Listing’ does not apply to cemeteries in their entirety although individual structures in cemeteries – for example, chapels and lodges and individual monuments – may be protected. 

The Historic England ‘Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England’ does also cover cemeteries; recent work has substantially increased the number on the Register. In 2017, the list included 116 sites. Further information is on their website

A rather more comprehensive and useful account of cemetery conservation is included in its earlier publication, Paradise Preserved.