Guided walks and events, 2016

 Programme Changes: Will be posted on the cemetery notice board, in our Walks & Events leaflet (which is updated at regular intervals but does not necessarily cover all changes) and on this webpage.  Or contact us for more details.

Ticketed events: All tickets (unless otherwise stated) are available from the cemetery office and sell out fast due to limited numbers.  See individual events for prices and details.

Non-Ticketed events: Just turn up – no need to book.

If no price is stated, the Friends of York Cemetery suggest a donation of £3 per non-member or, for members and children, £1.  Includes drinks and biscuits.

Walks meet at the Gatehouse, last 1 1/2 – 2 hours and finish with your drink & biscuits in the chapel.


Light in the Darkness

Religious meetings conducted by Martin Emerson

Saturdays- 10am – 4pm

Dates for June, July, September, October and November – to be advised


York Open Studios

Friday 15th April:                     6pm – 9pm

Saturdays 16th & 23rd April: 10am – 6pm

Sundays 17th & 24th April:     11am – 5pm

Local artists showing work:

Semi-abstract Painters (oils):                                                                                         Cathy Denford ( birds, movement & stillness in landscape),                                            Leslie Williams ( colour & light in reflections and plant forms)

Figurative Sculptor (clay, latex, etc):                                                                    Marzena Madziag (inspired by society, the world we inhabit)

Monuments & Masons

Sunday 1 May – 2pm

A look at the variety of tombstones and their makers, with David Poole


RSPB Dawn Chorus Bird Walk &

Illustrated Talk

Saturday 7 May – 5.30am – TICKETS ONLY

Learn about the many types of birds visiting York Cemetery with RSPB expert, Barry Bishop.

Adults £5; Children Free.  Including hot sandwich & tea/coffee.


The History of York Cemetery

Sunday 8 May – 2pm

Guided walk exploring the fascinating history of York Cemetery from its opening in 1837, with Sheila Bartlett.


Garden Walk

Sunday 22 May – 2pm

An informative yet relaxing walk around the cemetery gardens with Clive Dawson.


Garden Festival

Sunday 15 May – 10am – 4pm

Plant stall, cake stall and free refreshments


Moth & Insect Night

Friday 27 May – 8pm

With expert David Chesmore.  Anneliese Emmans Dean also conveys the world of moths and insects in her unique and amusing way.


York Cantores – A Cappella Choir Performance

Saturday 11 June –  8 – 10pm


Garden Walk & Honey Bee Talk

Sunday 12 June – 2pm

Enjoy a tour of the cemetery gardens with Clive Dawson, then find out about the bees with Beekeeper, Tom Robinson.


A Cemetery Stroll (‘Victorian’ Section)

Sunday 19 June – 2pm

Interesting memorials and characters in the Victorian section and a tour of the chapel catacombs, with walk leader Roger Daniel.


Gateway Community Choir – Fundraiser for York Cemetery Trust

Monday 20 June – 7pm

Once again the marvellous Gateway Community Choir, led by Joseph O’Neill, sing in our beautiful Pritchett Chapel for your enjoyment, with all tickets sales donated to the York Cemetery Trust to help with the upkeep of this wonderful site.


Finnish Choir  ‘Enkelit’

Sunday 3 July – 2pm

Concert in the Chapel.  Tickets from the Gatehouse £8 –  including summer refreshments


Lord Mayors Buried in the Cemetery

Sunday 10 July – 2pm

A walk visiting their gravestones and hearing their stories, with the knowledgeable David Poole.


Soon Amore – A Cappella Choir – Summer Concert

Sunday 10 July – 5pm

Introducing our new Musical Director, Chris Bartram, with music and poetry from around the world, followed by Refreshments. Tickets from the Gatehouse. £8/5 Further information


York Early Music Festival

Monday 11 July – 6pm – 7pm

As part of the 2016 York Early Music Festival we are pleased to welcome NCEM Platform Artist Tabea Debus for a concert at 6pm on Monday 11th July.  Tabea is an extremely gifted recorder player and is presenting a programme of Shakespeare’s instrumental pieces with colleagues Kate Conway viola da gamba and Pawel Siwczak harpsichord.  For details and tickets, please see the 2016 York Early Music Festival programme at  or ring 01904 658338.

Bat Night No. 1

Wednesday 13 July – 9pm   TICKETS ONLY  £3 each

Meet in the chapel for a presentation and then enjoy the guided walk observing and listening to bats. With Claire Storey.  Bring a torch!  Includes drink and biscuits.

Living History

Sunday 17 July  11.30am – 1.30pm

Meeting at the Gatehouse – Two performances based on lives of people buried in the cemetery, by Fulford School Year 10 Drama Pupils.

Bat Night No. 2

Wednesday 20 July – 9pm   TICKETS ONLY  £3 each

Meet in the chapel for a presentation and then enjoy the guided walk observing and listening to bats. With Claire Storey.  Bring a torch!  Includes drink and biscuits.


Brewers & Publicans in the Cemetery

Sunday 24 July – 2pm

Guided Walk.  Jenny Hawkins tells the interesting historic tales of York brewers and publicans.


Edinburgh Fringe Festival Preview –            ‘Spirited Songs’

Saturday 30 July from 6pmSpirited Songs - poster



A Cemetery Stroll (‘Modern’ Section)

Sunday 31 July – 2pm

Discover interesting monuments and characters buried in this area.  With walk leader Roger Daniel.


Geology in the Cemetery

Sunday 7 August – 2pm

An interesting and informative geological walk around the cemetery with Neil Bartlett.


Butterfly Walk

Sunday 14 August – 2pm   TICKETS ONLY  £3 each

Study butterflies in the cemetery’s beautiful, natural environment with Dr David Chesmore.

Includes drink and biscuits.


Tree Walk

Sunday 21 August – 2pm

Learn about the cemetery’s trees with Keris McDonald.


Victorian Miscellany

Sunday 4 September – 2pm

A very interesting guided walk with David Poole, exploring Victorians buries in the cemetery.


Industrialists in the Cemetery

Sunday 18 September – 2pm

Explore York’s industrial past with a guided walk led by Linda Slack and Christine Walmsley.


Event poster (PDF)


A ‘Farrago’ for a September Evening

Saturday 24 September – 7.30pm  – in the Chapel

Music, comedy and classics from


Join us and enjoy the music of:

Puccini, Jerome Kern, Victoria Wood, Lloyd Webber and Bizet

from productions including:

Guys & Dolls, Chicago, Les Miserables, West Side Story and Caberet

Tickets £10 from the Cemetery Office: 01904 610578 to reserve

Proceeds to the Alzheimer’s Society and Friends of York Cemetery

Bring your own refreshments to enjoy during the interval!



York Cemetery Volunteer Forum

Thursday 29 September – 7.30pm – Refreshments provided – Agenda available from office or via email

Why not come along to the next meeting of our volunteers forum?

Volunteers are vital to the survival of the Cemetery and people often acquire skills and make lasting friendships from volunteering. There are many ways to get involved:

Weekend Wardens

Task days (10am-2pm first Saturday of each month)

Walks & events

Promotion and publicity (distributing leaflets, posters & press releases)


Tree survey

Anytime you can spare helps to preserve & enhance your Cemetery.  For further information,


Tel: 01904 610578 or call at the Cemetery office for more information for volunteer forum meetings.


Military Heroes in the Cemetery

Sunday 9 October – 2pm

Visit the graves of military heroes and hear their stories.  Pauline Beckwith leads this guided walk.


Mainly Rag Rugs

Thursday 13 – Sunday 16 October -10am-4pm

10 YORK CRAFTERS have been exhibiting their work at the Cemetery Chapel, York, since 1994.  They have recently changed the time of year, the frequency and the duration of their shows, but you will find the same friendly atmosphere, the rag rugs hung round the walls, the other craftwork for sale on stalls and a large table in the middle where you are welcome to come and try your hand at rag rug-making, or come with your own work to spend an hour or two with the group’s members over a cup of tea.


Heritage Orchard Opening

Saturday 5 November – from 9.15am

The official opening of the Friends of York Cemetery Heritage Orchard by The Lord Mayor of York, Dave Taylor.

Meeting outside the chapel from 9.15am with the planting of the first tree at 9.30am.


St Crux Fundraiser

Thursday 1 December – 10am – 4pm

A day of fundraising on behalf of York Cemetery Trust at the popular church of St Crux with sales of books, bric-a-brac, food, drink and refreshments.  Come along for a warming cuppa and cake and find a bargain!



“Three Cheers for Christmas”

Following upon last year’s inaugural event, York Cemetery Trust will be hosting Riding Lights Theatre Company’s 2016 Xmas Show,



Tickets :- Children under 12 years £4.00; adults £6.00

‘The Riding Lights story – tellers have arrived, bringing three outlandish characters and their amazing animals to star in three spectacular stories; The Sheepish Shepherd, Angel Unawares and Zooming into Christmas.

Woven together with puppetry, music, comic silliness and plenty of interaction for younger members of the audience, this colourful cloth of yuletide yarns offers a brilliant background to the heart of Christmas.

Three Cheers for Christmas! It’s filled with festive cheer!’

Last year’s event was really popular with children and accompanying adults, and we are anticipating even more support this year.

A quality show from an experienced theatre group, very reasonable prices for tickets, and an excellent reason for avoiding the pre- Xmas shopping crowds in the City Centre.

Put the date in your diary.  Tickets will be on sale from the Cemetery Office from 7th November.


Christmas Arrangement Workshop

Monday 5 December – 10am – 12 noon in the Pritchett Chapel

Hazel Hall is back again with her fun and friendly Christmas workshop.  Come along to create your own arrangement with step by step instructions from Hazel, a local florist and Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medallist.

All materials provided but please bring scissors.  £15 per person including punch & mince pies.

Tickets available from the cemetery office.


Gateway Community Choir –                       York Cemetery Trust Fundraiser

Monday 5 December – 7.30pm

Another chance to hear the Gateway Community Choir, led by Joseph O’Neill, singing in the beautiful Pritchett Chapel, with all ticket sales donated to the York Cemetery Trust.


NCEM Christmas Festival Event

Saturday 10 December

Further details to follow



Annual Carol Concert

Friday 16 December – 7.30pm (gates open 7pm)

In the beautiful grade 2* listed cemetery chapel:

Drama, traditional carols and readings, a musical performance by Quodlibet, home made mince pies and fruit punch.  A wonderful evening to get you into the Christmas spirit!  FREE