St John’s Cemetery Parramatta, by Prof. Harold Mytum

‘St John’s cemetery Parramatta: Improvement and social aspiration preserved in stone’ with Professor Harold Mytum is the sixth talk in the Commonwealth Heritage Forum’s Series on ‘Cemeteries and Burial Grounds across the Commonwealth’.

The talk will set the establishment and development of St John’s cemetery – the oldest surviving British burial ground in mainland Australia – in the context of the early development of Australia and the town of Parramatta. It reveals the presence of Georgian attitudes to improvement – of convicts, the landscape and the economy – and how the most successful in the colony marked their lives in this new colony.

Harold Mytum is Professor of Archaeology, University of Liverpool, and Past President of the Society for Post-medieval Archaeology. His research interests include investigating identity and memory through mortuary evidence (17th-20th centuries) from not only Britain and Ireland but also diasporic communities in North America and Australia. He has carried out surveys of many burial grounds and their monuments in Britain and Ireland, and also at Gibraltar North front Cemetery and in New South Wales, including Parramatta. He has developed a memorial recording system that is being widely applied across the world – see Caring for God’s Acre or Discovering England’s Burial Spaces (DEBS)

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