The National Burial Grounds Survey


What is the National Burial Grounds Survey?

The National Burial Grounds Survey (NBGS) is the first project of its kind anywhere in the world. 

AG Intl Ltd has been commissioned by the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England to survey and map every churchyard in England. The project includes photographs of every headstone and memorial and the scanning and indexing of the parish records – baptisms, marriage and burials. 

Already underway in the Dioceses of Carlisle and Truro we will progress systematically, diocese by diocese, across the country. As each diocese is completed it will be made available online via the Church of England’s Church Heritage Record. Each church will have secure access to view and update their own churchyard map and records.  

To see examples of some of our more recent burial ground projects, follow the examples link below. 

Features Of the NBGS 

Authorised representatives of each church or parish will have free, secure access to the map of their churchyard and all their own records where they will be able to:  

  • Update and maintain their records (baptism, marriage and burial) 
  • Add new memorial photographs  
  • Perform advanced searches 
  • Measure lengths and areas  
  • Input biodiversity information e.g. tree species  
  • Input memorial inscriptions…and much more.  

As each diocese in England is completed, the general public will have free access to view the digital mapping and GDPR permissible records allowing users to search for records from anywhere in the world.

This will become the go-to online resource and allow burial ground managers to utilise the information contained in their records for cultural projects, to help attract visitors, engage with schools or conduct research.  

Burial Map

Highgate Cemetery

One of London’s Magnificent Seven, Highgate Cemetery opened in 1839, covers 15 hectares, and has approximately 170,000 persons buried in around 57,000 graves. It is still open for burials today. The numbers are staggering, the site is amazing. 

The cemetery’s grounds are full of mature trees, shrubbery and wildflowers. With its remarkable catacombs, Circle of Lebanon, Egyptian Avenue and Colonnade, the West Cemetery is designated Grade II on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. The size, variety and sheer number of memorials is both fascinating and staggering.  

The list of famous internments is equally impressive – Karl Marx, Douglas Adams of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Henry Gray, author of Gray’s Anatomy, Jeremy Beadle, George Michael, Alexander Litvinenko, Bob Hoskins, Jean Simmons, Michael Faraday, Charles Dicken’s wife, parents and brother.  

AG Intl are performing a full ground survey, we have scanned the registers, and each of the 120 paper grave plans which cover the site. Fortunately Highgate already has a database of their records though transferring each of the 57,000 grave numbers and linking them to the map is a monumental task. We are delighted to see the whole project coming together. 

How Can I Find Out More? Complete and submit the ‘CONTACT US’ form or give us a call on 01768 216768