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 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.
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.
Left: Dr Acland’s grave
Below: Map of 1900 showing the former cemetery chapel. The boundaries of “Holy Cross Cemetery” are marked in yellow