ST JAMES'S GRAVEYARD
The transformation of St James's Graveyard looks to reconcile the relationship between man and nature, allowing access back into the forgotten urban woodland, a feat that is becoming increasingly elusive within Dublin City Centre. The conservation project takes into careful consideration the respect for the Graveyard as a final resting place for the interred, and as a memorial for their families.
Learn about the vision and ambition from the project team and read about the conservation project's history to date.
Gain insight into the conservation approach and future plans for the site. Find out what what methods and processes the team are using to complete the work.
See the future landscape and design concept for the graveyard and its surrounding ecology and biodiversity.
ST JAMES'S GRAVEYARD
St James’s graveyard is about 1.5 acres in size and is the largest of the old Dublin City cemeteries. It is sited on the brow of the steep valley that lines the lower reaches of the Liffey. Over time, layers of burials have resulted in a complex landscape of archaeological significance.
With links to pre-Christian burial sites of 8th and 9th century Vikings, St James’s graveyard also remained the principal burial ground for both religious affiliations down through the centuries, those interred include the clergy of both catholic and protestant churches. There are in excess of 30,000 recorded burials on site but there is an estimated 60,000-100,000 bodies interred in the graveyard. St James's Church was deconsecrated in 1963 with the last noted burial taking place in 1955.
The site is currently undergoing conservation works with the aim to restore the graveyard as a place of remembrance.
The church of St James was founded in medieval times with its earliest documented reference dating back to 1268. The present St James's Church is the third church built on this site. It has many customs and associations, including a significant connection to the St James's pilgrimage; the Camino de Santiago.
BURIALS & GRAVES
There are an estimated 60,000-100,000 burials on site, only 30,000 of which are recorded. Six different types of memorials can be found and a graveyard survey has mapped 105 tombstones, and over 500 inscriptions. Learn more about who is buried here and what these gravestones can tell us about Dublin's social history.
ECOLOGY & BIODIVERSITY
Graveyards can provide an important refuge for wildlife, particularly in built up urban areas such as the lands that surround St James’s Church. The graveyard provides an island of mature woodland habitat in an urban setting, and is important for local birds, mammals, insects and plants. Learn more about what biodiversity can be found in the graveyard here.