Celebrate Science in a Cemetery

Gravestones in Holywell Cemetery, Oxford c. Mike Tomlinson

The wide range of rock types used for gravestones means that cemeteries can be geological treasure-troves. For geologists – whether amateur, student or professional – almost any urban cemetery provides a valuable opportunity to carry out scientific field work at leisure, right on the doorstep and at no cost. From minerals to fossils, to sedimentary and flow structures and exotic metamorphic rocks, there’s a lot to see.

Join geologists Nina Morgan and Philip Powell on guided geological walks through three different burial grounds in Oxford during British Science Week. You’ll never look at cemeteries in the same way again!

The walks last around an hour. All are free to attend, no need to book – just turn up.

Start times and dates:

Saturday 11 March 1:30: Holywell Cemetery, behind St Cross Church, Longwall Street, Oxford OX1 3TP

Sunday 12 March, 1:30: St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, Walton Street, Oxford OX1 2HD (near Juxton Street)

Saturday 18 March 1:30 Headington Municipal Cemetery, Dunstan Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 9BY

Sunday 19 March 1:30 Holywell Cemetery, behind St Cross Church, Longwall Street, Oxford OX1 3TP


The Oxford burial grounds are featured in The Geology of Oxford Gravestones by Nina Morgan and Philip Powell.  Copies will be available to examine and buy after each walk.

For more information visit or

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