Kenneth Grahame's gravestone
|Location||St Cross Church, Oxford|
|Terms of lease||Closed to new burials|
In the mid 19th century, the graveyards of the six parishes in central Oxford became full, so Merton College made some of its land available to form the cemetery in 1847. The cemetery was established along with Osney Cemetery and St Sepulchre's Cemetery. In 1855, new burials were forbidden at all Oxford city churches, apart from in existing vaults.
The cemetery is now a wildlife refuge with many birds (including pheasants that nest there) and butterflies, as well as small and larger mammals, including Muntjac deer and foxes. Hedgehogs are also known to live there.
Notable interments and memorials
A number of well-known people are buried in the cemetery, including:
- Henry Wentworth Acland, physician and educator, and Sarah Acland, after whom the Acland Home is named
- James Blish, the American expatriate author
- Maurice Bowra, Warden of Wadham College, Oxford and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University
- John William Burgon, Dean of Chichester Cathedral
- Theophilus Carter, said to be the model for the Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
- George Claridge Druce, botanist and Mayor of Oxford
- Hugo Dyson, member of the Inklings
- Francis Edgeworth, statistician and economist
- Austin Farrer, Warden of Keble College, Oxford
- Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows
- Abel Hendy Jones Greenidge, classical historian formerly of Balliol, Hertford and Brasenose
- Charles Buller Heberden, Principal of Brasenose College, Oxford and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University
- William West Jones, Archbishop of Cape Town
- Sir Richard Lodge, historian
- Max Müller, philologist and Orientalist, Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford
- Walter Pater, essayist and critic
- Bartholomew Price, Master of Pembroke College, Oxford
- Lord Redcliffe-Maud, civil servant and Master of University College, Oxford, and his wife Jean Redcliffe-Maud
- John Rhys, Principal of Jesus College, Oxford
- George Rolleston, physician and zoologist
- John Stainer, composer and organist
- Kenneth Tynan, theatre critic and author
- Thomas Herbert Warren, President of Magdalen College, Oxford
- Charles Williams, novelist, poet and member of the Inklings
- William Wallace, Scottish philosopher
The cemetery contains three war graves that are maintained and registered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission - two British Army officers of World War I and a Royal Air Force officer of World War II.
A Friends of Holywell Cemetery has been established to raise funds and manage the cemetery.
- Burial grounds in the city of Oxford, Burials in Oxford.
- Lack, 2010, page 39
- "Gazetteer". Balliol College Archives & Manuscripts. Balliol College, Oxford. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
-  CWGC Cemetery Report. Breakdown obtained from casualty record.
- The Friends of Holywell Cemetery: Holywell Cemetery. (Noticeboard in Holywell Cemetery.)
- Lack, Alastair (2010). "'The Valhalla of Oxford'". Oxfordshire Limited Edition (The Oxford Times) (March 2010): 35–39.
- This is Oxfordshire information
- Friends of Holywell Cemetery[dead link]
- Holywell Cemetery: An Oxford Secret by Janet Keene