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Holy Sepulchre (Round Church) & Sepulchre Passage

History of Holy Sepulchre, Bridge Street

This is one of England’s five surviving round churches of C11-12.

Round Church 1809

Bridge Street pre 1840

Sepulchre Passage was the passage that round around the churchyard of Holy Sepulchre before the construction of Round Church Street. It appears on maps circa 1800 but is not named.

Cambridge Town Map c.1800

1830 Pigot’s Directory

Richard Anthony Relhan, apothecary (1782-1844)

Relhan was also a gifted amateur artist and left a large collection of pictures of buildings and other historic features which are housed by Cambridge University Library. He was baptised 1782 at Holy Sepulchre, first son of Rev. Richard and Maria Relhan. Richard Relhan (1754-1823)had been born in Dublin and married Maria Day, daughter of Cambridge attorney, James Day. The father was chaplain of King’s College (1781-1796) but also taught and was a noted botanist publishing Flora Cantabrigiensis in 1785.

Richard Anthony Relhan was living in 1841 in St John’s Street, with his brother Charles, violin teacher, and his wife Elizabeth, where he ran his apothecary. He seemed to have had financial difficulties and in 1843 was living in King Street where he died in 1844 from debility aged 62.


Sepulchre Passage

(1) George Swan, 34, labourer, b Cambridge

(2) Ann Knight, 79, b Needingworth

(3) Ann Clark, 70, laundress, b Herts

(4) Maria Stanford, 53, bedmakers help, b Ely

(5) William Swan, 39, servant, b Cambridge

Further information can be found on Wikipedia.

Round Church, Cambridge

1996 study of Anthony Salvin:

Gwen Raverat (Period Piece) describes a visit by her mother circa 1883 (p.25).


Sketching Cambridge by Michael Large


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