Troubled proximities: asylums cemeteries in nineteenth-century England.
Asylums and cemeteries in nineteenth-century England were kindred spirits in the anxiety and exclusionary impulses that they engendered, leading them to be similarly exiled from nineteenth-century urban areas. They were uneasy 'neighbours', however, with contemporary authorities condemning the proximity of cemeteries to asylums on medical and moral grounds. The appearance at many asylums after mid-century of a burial-ground for deceased residents, usually located on an asylum's own estate, was often criticized on grounds similar to those raised with respect to neighbouring parochial burial-grounds. Other objections arose to the 'exclusivity' of asylum-based burials, with off-site burial arrangements clearly being favoured. One consequence was that on-site asylum cemeteries ended up being treated as unwelcome occupants of asylum estates, hidden away as an embarrassment, creating a legacy of anonymity still generating concerns in the present.
School of Geographical & Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK. Christopher.Philo@glasgow.ac.uk
SourceHistory of psychiatry 23:89 Pt 1 2012 Mar pg 91-103
History, 19th Century
Pub Type(s)Historical Article