1st Edition

Victorian Cemeteries and the Suburbs of London Spatial Consequences to the Reordering of London’s Burials in the Early 19th Century

By Gian Luca Amadei Copyright 2022
    194 Pages 69 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    194 Pages 69 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores how Victorian cemeteries were the direct result of the socio-cultural, economic and political context of the city, and were part of a unique transformation process that emerged in London at the time. The book shows how the re-ordering of the city’s burial spaces, along with the principles of health and hygiene, were directly associated with liberal capital investments, which had consequences in the spatial arrangement of London. Victorian cemeteries, in particular, were not only a solution for overcrowded graveyards, they also acted as urban generators in the formation London’s suburbs in the nineteenth century. Beginning with an analysis of the conditions that triggered the introduction of the early Victorian cemeteries in London, this book investigates their spatial arrangement, aesthetics and functions. These developments are illustrated through the study of three private Victorian burial sites: Kensal Green Cemetery, Highgate Cemetery and Brookwood Cemetery. The book is aimed at students and researchers of London history, planning and environment, and Victorian and death culture studies.

    Table of Contents:

    List of Illustrations



    Chapter 1 - Health

    1.1 - Metropolitan Sepulchre

    1.2 - Overcrowding

    1.3 - Ordering the Dead

    Chapter 2 - Identity

    2.1 - Landscapes of Remembrance

    2.2 - The Business of Burying the Dead

    2.3 - Architecture and Legacy

    2.4 - Rational Minds

    Chapter 3 - Suburbs / Kensal Green

    3.1 - Metropolitan Picturesque

    3.2 - Testing Ground

    3.3 - A New Suburb

    Chapter 4 - Suburbs / Highgate

    4.1 - The Village at the Edge of the Metropolis

    4.2 - Gravestones and Vistas

    4.3 - New Hospitals and Clean Air

    Chapter 5 - Suburbs / Brookwood and Woking

    5.1 - Waterways and Brick Yards

    5.2 - Cemetery and Town

    5.3 - New Century, New Beginning

    5.4 - The Woking Residential Estates

    5.5 - Conclusions

    Chapter 6 - Rethinking

    6.1 - Open Spaces

    6.2 - New Alternatives to Earth Burial

    6.3 - Future Visions

    6.4 - Conclusions




    Gian Luca Amadei is an independent academic researcher, design journalist and lecturer at the Royal College of Art in London.

    "Cemeteries form an important but largely overlooked part of our environment. Dr. Amadei’s text examining the changing landscape surrounding three nineteenth century cemeteries broadens our understanding of their influence and relationship to other buildings such as houses, church, hospitals, industrial workings and railways. Nobody with an interest in London’s history and also cemetery studies should be without this ground-breaking and well-researched publication."

    Dr. Brian Parsons, Independent researcher, London

    "Victorian cemeteries attract attention from a range of disciplines. This book widens the field by examining three important London cemeteries and the suburbs that came to surround them through the lenses of town planning and urban history. By highlighting complex and multi-faceted urban and social intersections, Amadei establishes the significance of negotiating meaningful relationships between the living and the dead."

    Professor Hilary J Grainger OBE, Emerita University of the Arts London