Holywell Cemetery

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Holywell Cemetery
St Cross Cemetery
Kenneth Grahame's gravestone in the cemetery.
CountryUnited Kingdom
Coordinates51°45′21″N 1°14′50″W / 51.75583°N 1.24722°W / 51.75583; -1.24722
StyleWildlife refuge
Terms of leaseClosed to new burials
Find a Grave2175352

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.[1] 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.[citation needed]

Notable interments and memorials[edit]

"In Memoriam Bullard" memorial stone in Holywell Cemetery

A number of well-known people are buried in the cemetery, including:

A wooden grave marker that was used to mark the grave of the England Rugby captain Ronald Poulton-Palmer at Ploegsteert wood is affixed to a wall in the cemetery.[5]

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.[6]


A Friends of Holywell Cemetery has been established to raise funds and manage the cemetery.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Burial grounds in the city of Oxford". Oxford History: Burials in Oxford. UK: www.oxfordhistory.org.uk. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Lack, 2010, p. 39
  3. ^ a b 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
  4. ^ a b Vogeler, Martha S. (2004). "Woods , Margaret Louisa (1855–1945)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Gazetteer". Balliol College Archives & Manuscripts. Balliol College, Oxford. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  6. ^ "Breakdown obtained from casualty record". CWGC Cemetery Report. Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  7. ^ "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.

External links[edit]