Heritage Stone Conservation in Urban Churchyards

Merging Necrogeography, Historical Archaeology, and Geomorphology
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Mary J. Thornbush
179 g
238x159x7 mm
SpringerBriefs in Geography

Chapter 1: Introduction - overview and relevant background, including published (cross-disciplinary) research that provides a context and justification for the study.

Chapter 2: Urban sites - study area outlined, with details of the churchyards visited along a transect sampled in England and Scotland towards the British East Coast, including the cities of Oxford, York, and Scarborough in England and Edinburgh, Inverness, and Dunbar in Scotland.

Chapter 3: Research background - including coverage of the relevant literature, including site-specific information.

Chapter 4: Assessing the record - research methodology set out, with rationale for selecting a longitudinal project with multiple sites (multisite), using a transect for sampling in Britain.

Chapter 5: Stylistic trends - specific results of the historical archaeological work for each churchyard, city, and across England and Scotland, including seriated styles for various study headstone variables.

Chapter 6: Current state - details of weathering patterns and trends, with comparisons drawn at various spatial scales for a multisite cross-disciplinary study.

Chapter 7: Conservation issues - discussion of the implications of rock weathering on the heritage/ cultural stone markers and notes on the condition going forward.

Chapter 8: Conclusion - highlighting the contribution of this research as part of long-term research and sustainability research, with a final assessment of the heritage sustainability in these churchyards.
This book provides a cross-disciplinary perspective on the degradation and deterioration of the cultural record encompassed by urban headstones located in parish churchyards. Its interdisciplinary approach allows the geomorphological analysis of rock weathering to be combined with the impacts on the cultural record, its interpretation, and management. In particular, by examining the impacts of air pollution on the weathering of these cultural markers, cross-temporal assessments can provide valuable information concerning the condition of the record and its sustainability potential as monuments of cultural heritage.Churchyards located in urban settings have grown in interest for the purposes of heritage conservation research. Specifically, headstones represent part of the historical and archaeological record and are recognised as a component of historical archaeology. They are also now approached from the standpoint of heritage conservation, either as monuments or cultural stone as well as being part of necrogeography through their address of burial and stone decay.

In this brief, headstones located in parish churchyards in England and Scotland, as part of the Anglican record for the Church of England and the Presbyterian record for the Church of Scotland, were examined using non-destructive methods based on field observations since preliminary research in 2006 as part of a decadal scale (long-term) study. This multisite investigation captures the record since the 17th century, and mainly comprises limestone (England) and sandstone (Scotland) headstone markers that still remain upright. Most studied headstones appear before the 19th century, when this study's temporal focus terminates. Seriations performed on the available record have revealed trends in style based on inscriptions, epitaphs, and motifs as well as quantified dimensions, shapes, and more.

This study represents an attempt to pictorially record cultural stone and to observe cross-temporal and spatial change at various scales. As such, it offers a valuable resource for practitioners, e.g. conservators and archaeologists, as well as for students and researchers.