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Holywell Cemetery is next to St Cross Church in Oxford, England. The cemetery is behind the church in St Cross Road, south of Holywell Manor on Manor Road and north of Longwall Street, in the parish of Holywell.
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
- Sir Reader Bullard and his sons Sir Giles Bullard and Sir Julian Bullard, all diplomats
- 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
- Francis Llewellyn Griffith, Egyptologist and founder of the Griffith Institute
- Nora Griffith, Egyptologist and founder of the Griffith Institute
- Charles Buller Heberden, Principal of Brasenose College, Oxford and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University
- Andrew John Herbertson, geographer
- 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
- Henry George Woods, President of Trinity College, Oxford
- Margaret Louisa Woods, poet and novelist
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". Oxford History: Burials in Oxford. UK: www.oxfordhistory.org.uk. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
- Lack, 2010, p. 39
- R. S. Simpson, Francis Llewellyn Griffith (1862–1934) – Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) – Oxford University Press – Published in print: 23 September 2004 Published online: 23 September 2004
- Vogeler, Martha S. (2004). "Woods , Margaret Louisa (1855–1945)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
- "Gazetteer". Balliol College Archives & Manuscripts. Balliol College, Oxford. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- "Breakdown obtained from casualty record". CWGC Cemetery Report. Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
- "The Friends of Holywell Cemetery: Holywell Cemetery", Noticeboard, Holywell Cemetery
- Lack, Alastair (March 2010). "The Valhalla of Oxford". Oxfordshire Limited Edition. The Oxford Times: 35–39.