Grave of Walter "Snowy" Farr – Oakington, England - Atlas Obscura

Grave of Walter "Snowy" Farr

Oakington, England

After this beloved Cambridge character passed away, the community raised funds to provide him with a proper gravestone. 


The grave of much-loved local character Walter “Snowy” Farr is located in the graveyard of St. Andrews Church, the grounds of which he lovingly tended for more than 30 years.

Walter Reginald Farr was born in 1919. He came by the nickname “Snowy” because even as a child he had white hair. He worked as a street sweeper for many years and also cared for the grounds at the church. Snowy also raised tens of thousands for charity with his traveling menagerie of animals in Cambridge Market Square. Typically dressed in a bright red tunic and black boots, with his long white beard, would have crowds of people gather to watch him performing in the middle of Cambridge.

He would have all sorts of animals including cats, dogs, mice, guinea pigs, chickens, and pigeons. Usually, a cat would sit on the top of his hat, and the mice would run round the brim, while pigeons balanced on the end of an umbrella with other creatures running around the basket of his bicycle.

After he died in 2007, the Cambridge City Council commissioned a sculpture in the market square outside the Guild Hall. His grave at St. Andrews Church only had a simple wooden cross to mark it. Locals got together to raise money to have a more appropriate headstone with the stone carving done voluntarily by a local stone engraver.

It was not an easy task. Permission had to be sought from Snowy’s family, but no existing family members could be located. The design also had to be approved by the church council at Ely—the original proposed design featuring a cat was rejected. Eventually, the current stone design featuring a pigeon was accepted as a fitting and lasting tribute to Snowy.

Know Before You Go

The grave can be found at the rear of the graveyard, behind and Southeast of the church. The stature of Snowy can be seen in Cambridge outside the Guild Hall.

Also located just outside the churchyard in the graves of three martyrs accessed outside via the narrow pathway at the eastern corner of the churchyard.

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October 18, 2022

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