Historic graveyards provide us with landscapes of cultural, historic and natural interest, and often remain in use. Irish historic graveyards may contain a wide range of monuments such as headstones, ledger slabs, box tomb chests, allegorical sculpture and mausoleums. Many graveyards are also archaeological monuments, retaining much earlier burials and structures and so require special consideration and consents for necessary repair and conservation works.
Deterioration and weathering are inevitable parts of the history of a monument, and the principles and techniques used for the conservation of historic buildings and places and of archaeological monuments are used for the care and conservation of historic graveyards. The aims are typically to reduce the rate of deterioration, provide physical security, and preserving the historic significance, character and original material of the monument. Conservation surveys of graveyards are a crucial step in providing specific guidance on maintenance and future management of these important sites.
As part of my professional services, I carry out:
Graveyard Inventory to record and map historic graveyards.
Historic Research of graveyards, their buildings, structures and of the principal burials.
Condition Survey recording deterioration and decay mechanisms affecting the monuments, graveslabs, boundary walls etc and identifying repair needs.
Specifications for Repair of monuments, graveslabs, boundary walls etc.
Conservation and Management Plans to provide a strategy identifying the significance and vulnerabiltiies of the graveyard, and making recommendations for future maintenance, repair and interpretation.
Ministerial Consent – Many historic graveyards are protected archaeological sites, and require an application to obtain ministerial consent for conservation works.