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    Crowd-Sourced Cartography to Visualise the Forgotten: Mapping Britain's Corpse Roads

    Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2014)

    London, UK, 8 - 10 July 2014


    Stuart Dunn


    Now it is the time of night
    That the graves all gaping wide
    Every one lets forth its sprite
    In the church-way paths to glide

    Thus speaks Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Act V Scene 1). The reference is to the ad hoc network of 'corpse roads' which sprang up across Britian in the medieval period, when one of the primary means parish churches had of maintaining their control over outlying settlements was to insist on burials in their own consecrated grounds. Thus, funeral processions from the outlying areas had to go across country with the coffin. In many areas these routes took on great folkloric significance; and as late as the early twentieth century it was still (erroneuosly) believed that if a coffin passed over private land then the path it took became a public right of way.


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    EVA 2014: Electronic Visualisation and the Arts cover

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