Posted by James Briggs on March 06, 2003
In Reply to: Buried six feet under posted by Tim B on March 06, 2003
: Why are people buried "Six Feet Under" Ground? why Six?
Perhaps to allow several burials on one site. The
common practice in Britain until the early Victorian times was to reuse graves
without always removing the previous occupant(s)! Church grave yards became the
site of numerous scattered bones. As a result the law was changed to allow burials
to take place in non-consecrated ground - the Victorian public cemetery was born.
Never-the-less, the custom of burial six feet down continued. Today only two burials
are allowed in one family grave; thus the first has to be deep enough to allow
the second. Since almost all of our cemeteries are full in Britain, then most
people are cremated and their ashes scattered. A few years ago I was able to purchase
a plot in my local beautiful Victorian cemetery for my father - it was one of
7 newly discovered unused plots.
In Germany and other countries the system is different and the graves are reused every 25 or 50 years - the bones are placed in a charnell house.
How do I know all these things? I'm a pathologist with a German wife!