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Launch workshop

27th March 2018
Nicole Beale

Discovering England’s Burial Spaces
18 month project, Historic England funded
Sept 2017 – March 2019

Designed to enhance existing practice for
research into burial spaces

Production of methodology and tools for high
quality data capture, interpretation and archiving

Work with community-based groups to this end
How it all began…
Skills sharing & tech development

Members of the St Mary's Embsay Churchyard Survey Project team and the Embsay with Eastby Research Group (an Upper Wharfedale
Heritage Group working group) demonstrate RTI capture.
Historic England’s National Heritage Protection Plan:

“Burial Grounds… both at a personal and historic
level for local and faith communities, are under
threat from vandalism, neglect and development
pressure. Their full heritage significance… is often
poorly understood… a clearer articulation of
significance is required.”
(NHPP, 2013:20)
25% of local authority and 75% of Church of England burial spaces
have no staff employed to care for burial spaces and rely on
volunteer maintenance (MoJ, 2007:12)
In 2012, Historic England commissioned Mytum et al. to assess the
potential of a standard model for recording burial ground. They
identified a need for a national recording project and system, the
development of recording and archiving protocols, and a training
programme (EH6358)
DEBS Methodology
A system of methods for the different stages of burial
space research
For use by community groups to conduct burial
space research
Caring for God’s Acre -
Beautiful Burial Ground
Church of England’s
ChurchCare - Church
Heritage Record Online
Faculty System
Council for British
Archaeology - Redesign of
Mytum, 2000. Recording
and Analysing Graveyards
Historic England -
Communities remit for
wellbeing and heritage
Archaeology Data Service -
HERALD, OASIS+ graveyard
The system we
would like to
develop with you:
1. The process of
recording of burial
2. Skills development
amongst local groups
for analysis and
interpretation of burial
3. Enable identification of
significance of burial
spaces both locally and
Things we would like to make
with you
• Recording methodology for gravestones
• Tools for surveying churchyards and cemeteries
• National database so that groups carrying out
surveys can archive and publish their data
• Tools for archiving and publishing datasets
How we
would like to
do this
April-Sept 2018:
• Workshops to
• Mobile apps
• Desktop
• Database
• OASIS+ form
• Fieldwork
• Skills sharing
• Tools testing
DEBS timeline
Date capture in the field.
Design & evaluation of database,
mobile & desktop apps 2018
Digital version
of Mytum’s
CBA handbook 2018
User testing of resources, Oct-Dec
including OASIS+ burial
spaces form 2018
Workshop to evaluate skills development &
review work carried out (& to celebrate end
of phase one & launch phase two). 2019
What happens next?