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Death in Scotland

Chapters From the Twelfth Century to the Twenty-First


Peter C. Jupp and Hilary J. Grainger

For the past twenty years, Scottish death culture has emerged as a focus of scholars drawn from a wide variety of disciplines. Death comes to us all but too often we treat it as a private or personal matter. The former taboo about death is slowly lifting and contemporary research is playing an increasing part. Accordingly, the fifteen essays gathered in this book probe the multi-facetted role of death in Scottish history and culture. They explore personal fears of death, anxieties about Predestination, prayers for the dead and the appeal of Spiritualism. They analyse the public face of death in law, economics and medicine: changes in capital punishment, funeral poverty, the teaching of anatomy and prevention of stillbirths. Within the worlds of religion and ritual, they consider the making of saints, burial practice following the Scottish Reformation and the tradition of keening within the Gáidhealtachd. With an Introduction by Professor Jane Dawson, these essays by specialists in the field not only highlight the richness of the primary sources for studying death in Scotland but reveal how death studies identify key features of Scottish life and society across ten centuries.

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15 Private Sector, Collective Need: The Architecture and Design of Scottish Crematoria, 1973–2018 (Hilary J. Grainger)


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15 Private Sector, Collective Need: The Architecture and Design of Scottish Crematoria, 1973–2018


The building of Scotland’s thirty operational crematoria falls into three distinct phases, the first being the pioneering work of the private sector between 1895 and 1939. In keeping with the post-war era’s governing agenda of ‘improvement’, which sought to create a better social environment for the many, the post war period witnessed local authorities assuming responsibility for crematoria. A halt in building followed in the 1970s with the cessation of large-scale reconstruction programmes in Scotland. This was mirrored in the provision of crematoria. By the late 1980s changes were afoot as global capitalisation began to encourage a move away from the morality of social building types. The professional context for architects widened accordingly as new opportunities arose. By the time Scotland emerged from its eighteen-year interregnum in crematorium building, architectural taste and approaches to funeral requirements had changed. Furthermore, there was a rise in interest in environmental challenges. In many respects, crematorium buildings and the pattern of their patronage represent, in microcosm, the wider social and architectural developments taking place in Scotland. In concentrating on the final phase of crematorium building between 1973 and 2018, including the role played by individual companies such as Dignity Crematoria Ltd and Westerleigh Group Ltd., this chapter explores the implications for the design, style, planning and siting of crematoria that have resulted from the substantial shift from...

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