Treasure Hunt – York Cemetery

For this month’s Treasure Hunt we’re taking a wander around one of the city’s hidden gems. York Cemetery has been the final resting place for many of us since 1837 and remains an oasis of both calm and nature. If you’ve never visited, this is great chance to see it. Plus, if you love reading old headstones, you’re in luck…


1, We start by the main entrance off, appropriately, Cemetery Road. Head to the immediate right, passing the toilet block. As you walk, check out the headstones.

* In which year did John Usher die?

* What couple invites us to “So sing as well”?

2, Just after the first left turn, cross the grassy area diagonally, heading for a worn path along some trees. Keep an eye out for a gravestone with 15015 on the back (the side facing you). This marks the cemetery’s first ever burial, but…

* Where was the occupant from?


3, Turn around and continue along the grass, heading toward the chapel. You’ll arrive back at the path to the side of the chapel, by a small headstone for Harold Robson. Walk along the path, heading for the front of the chapel.

* Who was born 19-11-28?

* Why is Charles Robinson’s grave different?


4, Now at the front of the chapel, which is often used for events, find out…

* Whose remains are interred in Vault No.6 “beneath this portico”?

5, Turn around and walk along the long path heading directly away from the chapel.

* Who was Benjamin Gray’s wife?


6, At the compass, turn right (or east, as it points)

* Who died “after a few days illness” in 1877?


7, Turn right, following the curved path.

* Whose headstone looks like an object featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey?


8, Turn to the right, onto the path heading toward the short step steps, and go up them.

* A grand statue guards Solly’s wife. What was her name?


9, Keep moving forwards, heading toward a small group of stone angels.

* One such heavenly being believes who to be “worthy of everlasting love”?


10, Turn left onto the next path you come to, which stretches on beneath overhanging trees.

* How old was William Richard Allison when he died in 1918?


11, Turn left once more. You’ll see a pergola at the end of the path. Head toward it.

* Private E. R. Walton was a part of what interesting-sounding army battalion?

* And, as you approach it, after who was the pergola named?


12, Turn right.

* Where was Albert & Eugenie Till’s son interred?

13, When you pass a huge grey marble cross, turn left and keep walking.

* Why is Chad Martel’s headstone different?

* Who wishes us to “take time to see as woods we pass”?


14, Turn left onto the long wide path running along the cemetery’s perimeter wall.

* Who had children called Zhooki and Nina?

* Which sculptor gets a finely sculpted Column as his memorial?


15, At the end of the long path, turn let and you’ll find yourself back at the entrance near a group of short headstones. But before you go…

* Who was a loving husband of Betty’s?


Well done, job done. York Cemetery is a great place for a wander, and the office, right by you now, is the place to go if you need help finding a particular grave. Cheery good fun!





1: 1904, Janet & Alwyn Fletcher. 2: Heworth. 3: Thomas C. Stobbs, huge column of eroded stone. 4: Mary Hands. 5: Elizabeth. 6: Mary Jane Wright Marsh. 7: David Brian Slater’s. 8: Freda. 9: Bertha Ross. 10: 50. 11: Northern Cyclist Battalion, Margaret Grant. 12: Tacoignieres, France. 13: It’s a huge lump of rock, Marcus Roy Randall. 14: Natalia Nikolayevna Thompson, John Atkinson. 15: Jack Page.


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