Arnos Vale South Bristol
: The Life of a Cemetery

  • Lindsay Udall

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Arnos Vale Cemetery has been, until recently, a relatively little-known but unique cemetery amongst the West Country cemeteries. Located on the outskirts of Bristol, which is often referred to as the ‘second’ or ‘third’ city in Britain historically, the cemetery has remained largely undiscovered and unexplored in terms of its history and archaeology. Established by an Act of Parliament in 1837, it continues to be an active site of burial and memorial today, and transcends a 175-year time period, through the Industrial Revolution and two world wars.

The aim of this study is to provide detailed analysis and insight into the complexities of developing and maintaining a provincial Victorian garden cemetery. It aims to highlight the important role that this particular site had in terms of exploring cemetery development of those cemeteries that were being designed and constructed during the 1830s. Furthermore, how a surrounding network of local endeavour and activity enabled this and how complex relationships emerge regarding both development of the site and its maintenance over time.

To achieve this, this thesis implements innovative theory and methodology that has yet to be applied to cemetery research in any depth of detail through the application of both network theory and necrogeography combined to explore the purpose, intended functions, phenomenology of landscape, and the realities of maintenance.
Date of Award25 Jun 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SponsorsArnos Vale Cemetery Trust
SupervisorKate Robson Brown (Supervisor) & Stuart J Prior (Supervisor)

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