The City Bunhill burial ground on Golden Lane, London, operated as a Nonconformist burial ground between 1833 and 1853. Archaeological investigations included the excavation in 2006 of a sample area, from which 248 burials were recovered. All the burials were in wooden coffins, some of which were very well preserved. The coffin furniture and items buried with certain individuals are compared with those from other sites and with undertakers' catalogues of the period. Burial practice, the use of space and the burial population itself are examined, supported by information from the burial registers which, unusually for a non-parochial ground, survive in full. The City Bunhill and other nearby burial grounds are considered, as well as social conditions in the surrounding area, using contemporary sources. Osteological analysis of 239 individuals - including a very high proportion of children - proved a rich source of information about the health of the local population and a wide variety of pathological conditions was identified, including congenital abnormalities, infection, trauma and joint disease. Some osteological evidence points towards the poverty and harsh lives endured by many, including indicators of interpersonal violence, poor diet and the mistreatment of children. Evidence for post-mortem examinations was also found.
Publisher: Museum of London Archaeology