Chapter

Origins of the Cemetery Garden

Ken Nicolson

in The Happy Valley

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028108
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207561 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888028108.003.0002
Origins of the Cemetery Garden

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This chapter traces the origin of the cemetery garden from the early nineteenth-century Europe. During the late 1700s, Europe was faced with macabre scenes in their graveyards. With the emergence of the Industrial Revolution, Europe suffered from the problem of the overcrowding of urban churchyards. This overcrowding prompted actions such as the banning of further burials in churchyards and the transferring of surplus bodies to disused mines and other underground caverns. However, during the French Revolution, cemeteries and the treatment of the dead underwent a major change. The French Revolution provided a catalyst for social change and in this context of renewed civic pride the concept of the cemetery garden was set to flourish. During this period, attractive and sanitary cemeteries became a measurement of government competencies and efficiency. In addition, garden cemeteries began to represent a renewed respect for the dead, including bodies of criminals which were once deemed garbage.

Keywords: origin; cemetery garden; nineteenth-century Europe; Europe; French Revolution; cemeteries; dead; churchyards; graveyards

Chapter.  5067 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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