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Churchyard and cemetery in an English industrial city: Sheffield, 1740-1900

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Publication details

JournalUrban History
DateE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jul 2014
DatePublished (current) - Nov 2014
Issue number4
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)627-646
Early online date10/07/14
Original languageEnglish


Accounts of nineteenth-century burial practice in England borrow heavily from French historiography, which describes the way that scientific agendas drove a shift from traditional churchyard use to secular, municipal cemetery management. A challenge to this meta-narrative uses the example of Sheffield. In this highly industrialised city, the nineteenth-century did not see a dichotomised translation from churchyard to cemetery: the Church Building Acts (1818) was more effective in meeting burial demand than the 1836 General Cemetery; the formal closure of churchyards did not always lead to a cessation of burial; and by the century’s end, Church burial provision remained substantial.

Bibliographical note

This article won the Dyos Prize for the best paper submitted to Urban History in 2013.

    Research areas

  • cemetery, burial, industrial city, nineteenth century


  • Dyos Prize

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

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