Holywell Cemetery

Holywell Cemetery

By the 1840s the parish churchyards of Oxford were all full, and three cemeteries were opened in Oxford: Osney, St Sepulchre, and Holywell.

Holywell Cemetery occupies land provided by Merton College off St Cross Road (formerly Church Street) to the east of St Cross Church. It was consecrated in 1848 for the use of the parishes of All Saints, St John the Baptist, St Mary the Virgin, St Peter-in-the-East, and St Cross Church next door. A number of Oxford colleges are included in these parishes, and hence many eminent people are buried here.

Acland grave



Originally the cemetery had its own chapel, but it was demolished to make room for more burials.

See Alastair Lack, “The Valhalla of Oxford” in Oxfordshire Limited Edition, March 2010.

In 1871 Thomas Blagrove (70), described as a porter, lived in the cemetery lodge with his wife Martha (73).

In 1881 Martha Blagrove (83), now a widow, was the porteress here, and her daughter Miss Martha Seaton (53), who was a schoolmistress lived here. They also had two boarders. .

By 1891 Miss Martha Seaton (73) was the porteress at the Cemetery Lodge.



Left: Dr Acland’s grave



Below: Map of 1900 showing the former cemetery chapel. The boundaries of “Holy Cross Cemetery” are marked in yellow

Map of Holywell Cemetery in 1900

Holywell home

© Stephanie Jenkins

Oxford History home