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AHRC funded project puts Victorian cemetery under the history spotlight

Date: 21/05/2012

Last weekend saw a public event, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), take place at Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol. The event not only celebrated local community heritage but actively looked for contributions from local residents.

For the first time the cemetery displayed historical documents from the cemetery's collection and volunteers were on hand to gather oral history recordings and take photographs of objects brought along by local residents.

The project is Know Your Arnos Vale and it looks at the publics? stories, photos and recollections of the cemetery, which opened in 1839 and is one of the earliest and most important working Victorian cemeteries in the UK.

Arnos Vale is now the resting place for more than 300,000 Bristolians - from Lord Mayors to the city's paupers, industrialists, merchants, railway workers as well as internationally respected social reformers. It is hugely significant for Bristolians as a place of remembrance, a site of local heritage and historic importance, and a very special and much loved landscape.

Felicia Smith, Public Engagement Manager at Arnos Vale Cemetery, said: 'Arnos Vale has been important to many local people for more than 170 years. Know Your Arnos Vale will help us gather together an archive of local memories and add to our existing knowledge of the social history of Arnos Vale.'

It's part of the Know Your Bristol project, run by the University of Bristol in partnership with Bristol City Council and local community organisations.

It's a hands-on history project which explores some of the city's best-loved and most intriguing places. It has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the Connected Communities Programme.

Notes to editors:

  • AHRC Media contact: Jake Gilmore, Communications Manager, 01793 416021; j.gilmore@ahrc.ac.uk
  • Future Know Your Bristol events include:

    Know Your Kings Weston, 16 June: Kings Weston House, built in 1709, is a focal point of what's now a large area with a thriving community. Find out more about the house, the local area and how people relate to it.

    Know Your South Bristol on Saturday, 23 June: This event will focus on the heritage value of film, video and photography as documentary evidence of the rapidly changing landscape of South Bristol over the past 150 years.

    Know Your Bristol on Saturday, 30 June: The last in the series celebrates the heritage of the entire city. Residents can bring in objects which have a particular meaning to them, from photo albums to bicycles, tea cups, season tickets or children's books

  • Know Your Arnos Vale is part of the Know Your Bristol project - a hands-on history project which explores some of the city's best-loved and most intriguing places. The project, being run by the University of Bristol in partnership with Bristol City Council and local community bodies is part of the Inside Arts programme of public events and has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the Connected Communities Programme.
  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC): Each year the AHRC provides approximately £98 million from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from languages and law, archaeology and English literature to design and creative and performing arts. In any one year, the AHRC makes hundreds of research awards ranging from individual fellowships to major collaborative projects as well as over 1,000 studentship awards. Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.

 

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