The History of the Cemeteries and Crypts of London - A half-day course on 25 May

Two speakers give the history of the 19th century (and earlier) cemeteries and crypts in London.

In our first talk: Robert Stephenson gives an overview of the extraordinary period of change that London experienced in the 19th century. It saw a parallel upheaval in burial practices. Many ancient churchyards closed forever and an impressive array of garden cemeteries opened in the suburbs. We learn more about these cemeteries, old and new.

In our second talk: Rev Dr Malcolm Johnson draws on his unrivalled knowledge of the crypts of London, since the Great Fire. He describes the often unseen and remarkable details of the number and types of burials accommodated under many London churches. He also explains how, in the last century, new pastoral and commercial initiatives gave such spaces new and vital roles in the life of the church - and what happened to the bodies when this happened!

About the speakers:

Robert Stephenson is a qualified City of London Culture and Heritage guide and a trustee at Kensal Green and Brompton Cemeteries. He is also the chairman of the National Federation of Cemetery Friends.

Rev. Dr. Malcolm Johnson FSA is an Anglican clergyman and historian, who while rector of St Botolph Aldgate made its crypt synonymous with work for the homeless of the East End. His book, Crypts of London (History Press, 2013) based on his King’s College PHD, is a pioneering investigation of the history of the London crypts. He lectures regularly on the topics of London cemeteries,  funerals and death studies.

A half-day course on Saturday, 25 May (10:30 - 13:00), cost £20.00/£16.00 SoG Members. Places should be pre-booked, through our website or by telephone: 020 7251 8799 (Tue-Thu & Sat). Do you have a question? email the events department.

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