A Dead Good Job: gravedigging in Bristol municipal cemeteries

Prior, S. J. (Participant), Helen Frisby (Participant)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


Our municipal cemeteries are surprisingly versatile spaces: they memorialise the dead, provide recreation for the living, are home to a wide variety of wildlife – and are also places of work.

In this talk archaeologist Dr Stuart Prior, together with historian and folklorist Dr Helen Frisby, will present their recent research into just what it’s like to work in a cemetery. Along the way they’ll explore the history of Bristol’s municipal cemeteries, and question what modern lifestyles and deathstyles might mean for these fascinating spaces in the future.

Dr Stuart Prior is a Reader in Archaeological Practice at the University of Bristol. A former gravedigger, he’s previously appeared on Time Team.

Dr Helen Frisby is a historian and folklorist. Her PhD was on Victorian funerals, and she’s previously appeared on The History Channel and BBC radio.
Period23 Feb 2019
Event typeConference
LocationBristol, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionLocal


  • Cemetery
  • Gravedigger
  • graves
  • folklore
  • archaeology