News from St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, Oxford

Future Work Parties 2023

On Tuesdays/Wednesdays from 10am to 12noon. All are welcome. Come when you can, with gloves and secateurs if possible, but we do have some gloves and tools. The remaining session in 2023 are as follows:

  • Tuesday October 10th
  • Wednesday October 25th
  • Tuesday November 14th
  • Wednesday November 29th
  • Tuesday December 12th

Restoring a grave

If you are interested in restoring the grave of your ancestors, please visit the “Restoring a grave” page

Wonderful tribute from a neighbour of the cemetery

Dympna Irwin: Breathing Life into the Cemetery

Ceremony at the grave of Frank Bellamy

To mark the 80th anniversary of the death of Frank Bellamy, the Oxford Philatelic Society organized a ceremony at his grave in St Sepulchre's Cemetery on 15 February 2016.

Bellamy paid a key role in the development of the Oxford Philatelic Society and also helped to establish the Oxford Photographic Society, and contributed significantly to astronomy in his post as an observational astronomer at the Radcliffe Observatory.

Members of the Friends of St Sepulchre's, the Oxford Philatelic Society, the Ashmolean Natural History Society of Oxfordshire, and the Museum of the History of Science were in attendance.

Oxford Preservation Trust Award

Oxford City Council Cemeteries Service and the Friends of St Sepulchre's Cemetery were awarded a Certificate by the Oxford Preservation Trust on 3 November 2015 for making the cemetery “a more welcoming destination in Oxford”.

Geology of Oxford gravestones

The Geology of Oxford Gravestones

This new book by Nina Morgan and Philip Powellincludes 14 graves from St Sepulchre's Cemetery, made of crinoidal limestone, Pennant sandstone, Welsh slate, Carrara marble, Hornton stone, and Cornish, Peterhead, Shap, and pink granite.

Details of how to obtain it here

See the authors interviewed on That'sOxford TV

Oxford Mail, 25 August 2015:
New book on city gravestone geology is a dead good read!

Oxford Mail, 13 September 2014:
Headstones clue to Oxford’s geology

Whole cemetery now accessible

At their gardening session on Wednesday 25 February 2015, the Friends of St Sepulchre celebrated clearing all sight-lines to the boundary and making all memorials accessible after six years of work:


First World War and St Sepulchre’s

There are no War Graves in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery; but there are 16 inscriptions in remembrance of family members who died in the First World War and were buried overseas or whose bodies were never found. There is also one to a German violinist who married an Oxford girl and died of tuberculosis contracted while he was in an internment camp on the Isle of Man.

There is a plan attached to the cemetery gate under the arch showing where these graves are, and a piece of red wool has been tied around each of the relevant graves to make them easier to find.

Photoshoot by Oxford Mail

Group on 21 July 2014

Members of the gardening group joined Oxford City Council Cemeteries Manager Trevor Jackson and Councillor Susanna Pressel for an Oxford Mail photoshoot at the cemetery on 21 July 2014. This photograph was taken by Peter Strong at the garden seating area, which is looking particularly good this summer.


Joining our group

The Friends of St Sepulchre meet twice a month to tidy the cemetery, and we are always looking for new members! (The major grass cutting and strimming is carried out by the City Council,) We can be contacted on or look in on one of our working days listed above.

Safety inspection

The headstones in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery were inspected by Oxford City Council in the winter of 2013/14, and the following were laid down after failing the safety inspection:

  • John & Harriet Axtell (Row 18, Grave E21)
  • Henry, Thomas, and Louisa Deacon (Row 11, Grave A20)
  • William Edwards (position uncertain)
  • Cyril Eustace (position uncertain)
  • Annie Bacon Hart (Row 31a, Grave J28½)
  • Emma Jephson (Row 53, Grave P37)
  • William & Mary Ann Lindsey (Row 15, Grave A4)
  • Richard Mortimer (Row 34, Grave H14)
  • John Frederick Smith: probably John Hardwick Smith (Row 46, Grave K42)
  • Thomas & Martha Wilkins (Row 2, Grave A14)

Three others had no inscriptions left on them or were unreadable:

  • One was totally unknown
  • One was in a double plot with the name Allchin on the other stone
  • One was a cross which appeared to have the name Albert and KIA.


This website was launched on Tuesday 12 February 2013, in freezing conditions, with snowdrops pushing up through the snow, and we were in the Oxford Mail on the 18 February: “Help is needed at oasis of tranquillity in city

Gardeners on 18 Dec 2013Above: the volunteers celebrate Christmas on 17 December 2013

© Friends of St Sepulchre’s Cemetery 2012–2017