Rules of St Sepulchre’s Cemetery laid down in 1848

Each of the twelve parishes of Oxford was subject to the following rules, laid down by the Rural Deanery of Oxford in August 1848 just before the three new parish cemeteries opened in Oxford. Each parish was obliged to keep a full record of cemetery burials, and these rules are pasted inside the front cover of the books.

It was resolved …

ii. Graves.

1. That each parish have a book, which shall contain:
α. a chart of the ground laid out in rows and numbered
β. The rules according which the grave shall be made
γ. a register of the date and place of each burial, with the depth of the grave; to be duly entered in the book by the Sexton immediately after each burial.

2. That no grave be reopened unless there be at least four feet between the coffin last placed there and the level of the soil.

3. That no burials be permitted in the chapels.

iii. Gravestones.

1. That no enclosure, by iron rails or otherwise, be permitted.

2. That no horizontal tomb be raised more than 18 inches off the level of the ground, or be wider than the grave it covers; the finished form for this purpose being that of a coped coffin.

3. The headstone be of or about the colour commonly called stone colour, and not more than 3½ feet in height.

4. That no emblems be allowed but such as are characteristically Christian; and that the design be always submitted to the Clergymen.

5. That no memorials (except memorial windows) be located in the chapels.

iv. Bell.

That the Bell of the chapel be rung at the time when the funeral comes in sight, by the person whose duty it is to ring it at the parish church; but that no additional fee be charged for ringing it.

© Friends of St Sepulchre’s Cemetery 2012–2017