Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Temporalities of cemeteries: The tensions and flows of perpetuity and change in ‘slow’ places

House, Danielle; Beebeejaun, Yasminah; Maddrell, Avril; McClymont, Katie

Temporalities of cemeteries: The tensions and flows of perpetuity and change in ‘slow’ places Thumbnail


Danielle House

Yasminah Beebeejaun

Avril Maddrell

Profile Image

Katie McClymont
Associate Professor in Urban Planning


Cemeteries in the UK and Ireland are typically viewed as a final ‘place of rest’ for the deceased where their remains will not be disturbed. This sense is at least in some part created by the norm of in-perpetuity grave rights in these countries. Yet while ‘in-perpetuity’ suggests fixity, it is defined and managed in varying ways in different settings, including an ultimate fixed term for some graves and cemeteries. Over decades, in-perpetuity cemeteries and cemetery policies adapt to and reflect changes in cultural trends, national and local politics, cemetery management, planning, regeneration, and other pressures on land, as well as the changes that occur in the natural environment in which they are situated. In this article, we explore the rhythms and temporalities of cemeteries characterised by in-perpetuity grave rights, by looking at how the tensions between perpetuity and change are perceived, experienced, and managed by burial service staff and varied communities who use them. In-perpetuity grave rights impact the management of cemeteries, their material form, and how they are used. A focus on the temporalities and rhythms of cemeteries in the UK and Ireland enables a reconsideration of the concepts of perpetuity and change in death and remembrance.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 13, 2023
Online Publication Date Jan 27, 2023
Deposit Date Feb 17, 2023
Publicly Available Date Feb 17, 2023
Journal Mortality
Print ISSN 1357-6275
Electronic ISSN 1469-9885
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Place-temporalities; cemetery; perpetuity; minorities; burial management
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations