Anna Fairley Nielsson

Anna Fairley

Twitter: @annaandthedead

Thesis Title

Structure, agency, and commemorative landscapes in Liverpool, 1825-1900: a historical archaeology of nineteenth-century cemeteries


University of Liverpool


Professor Harold Mytum
Dr Matthew Fitzjohn

Research Summary

My research examines the mortuary landscape of nineteenth-century Liverpool. I consider to what extent this landscape was controlled by cemetery companies and their regulations, or created by individuals and families making personal choices in burial location and memorialisation.
I am investigating the ways in which aspects of identity such as religion, ethnicity, and class are reflected in the choice of cemetery, type of memorial, and inscription.
The final part of my thesis will evaluate how these landscapes and choices changed across time and space, particularly as new cemeteries were established or expanded.

I have also been involved in the investigation of C18th-19th memorials at a local Jewish cemetery, as well as explorations of the crypt, churchyard, and burial management strategies at St Patrick’s Church, Toxteth. I am interested in the national and international trade of cemetery memorials and monument materials, and have been researching pattern books related to these.

Research Interests

Historical archaeology,
Victorian Britain,
nineteenth-century studies,
burial archaeology,
and churchyards.


Mytum, H., Philpott, R., Fairley Nielsson, A., Burwood, E., and Dark, N. (2022) ‘Collaborating with the Community: Applying Non-Invasive Archaeological Methods in the Crypt and Churchyard of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Toxteth, Liverpool’, Heritage 5, 3298–3315.

Fairley Nielsson, A. (2023) ‘A Website for St. James’ Cemetery, Liverpool: Demonstrating the Value of Material Culture in the Dissemination of Cemetery Data Online’, in Mytum, H. and Veit, R. eds. (2023). Innovation and Implementation: Critical reflections on new approaches to historic mortuary data collection, analysis and dissemination. New York: Berghahn, 237-254.


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