A Visit to Agatha Christie’s Grave

Agatha Christie Memorial in London

Agatha Christie, the world’s best selling author, was born on 15th September 1890 in Torquay. She is know as the Queen of Crime for her detective fiction stories and her two most famous detectives are Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. She is also the only female playwright to have had three productions in London’s West End theatres simultaneously, the most famous of which The Mousetrap is the world’s longest running play.

This year is the 40th anniversary of Agatha’s death. Along with a loyal fan base, her popularity continues to grow as new generations discover her, thanks in part to the recent BBC adaptions such as “And  Then There Were None” and the publication of Sophie Hannah’s Poirot novels, the latest being “Closed Casket“.

My personal love of Christie goes back to childhood, like many, she was the first adult fiction I read. I find Agatha’s own life just as fascinating as the characters she wrote about. I’m just back from visiting Wallingford for their annual Agatha Christie weekend and while I was there I visited Agatha’s grave.

Winterbrook House in Wallingford

In 1934 Agatha and Max Mallowan, her second husband, purchased Winterbrook House in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. They happily lived there for over forty years and this was very much a private retreat for the couple, with the people of Wallingford respecting their privacy. Agatha, was known in the town by her married name Mrs Mallowan and frequented the local shops. On 12th January 1976 Agatha died peacefully at Winterbrook House. Today the house features a blue plaque, but it’s a private house and not open to the public.

St Mary’s Church in Cholsey

While living in Wallingford, Agatha attended St Mary’s Church in Cholsey. The church is in an idyllic spot, located on the edge of the village and surrounded by fields. This beautiful, historic church dates back to c986, when it was originally an abbey church and has subsequently been re-built. It was here that Agatha’s funeral was held.

St Mary’s Church

The funeral service,  conducted by Vicar of Cholsey, Rev Philip Pare, was a private occasion, attended by family and close friends, who were out numbered by the international press.

St Mary’s Church

Agatha and Max had already chosen the plot where they wanted to be buried some ten years earlier. It’s located in a secluded spot, in the north west corner of the churchyard.

Agatha Christie and Max’s grave in St Mary’s churchyard on my 2016 visit

Tucked away in a tranquil corner of the churchyard is Agatha’s grave. In the fields behind is the railway line and the peace is occasionally disturbed by the sound of a passing train.  The grave is unassuming with a headstone and two stone boundary markers. Between the two markers is a small tablet on the grass. It reads M.E.L.M. and A.M.C.M. which stands for Max Edgar Lucien Mallowan and Agatha Mary Clarissa Mallowan.

The brass plaque on the wall, next to the grave, list the people and organisations who sponsored the planting of 25 trees in the churchyard and aided in the restoration of the church to commemorate the centenary of Agatha’s birth.

Agatha Christie and Max’s grave

The beautiful head stone is ornately decorated at the top with the heads of two angels. Between which are the overlaid initials A M, which could stand for Agatha Mallowan or as I like to think Agatha and Max.

Keep a look out for the spelling mistake on the gravestone!

Agatha and Max’s grave

The inscription reads:

“In Memoriam



Agatha Christie Author & Playwright

BORN 15TH SEPT 1890    DIED 12TH JAN 1976

Sleepe after toyle, port after stormie seas

ease after war, death after life does greatest please”

The poem comes from Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene”

Agatha and Max’s grave

In 1978, when Max died he was buried alongside Agatha. An inscription to him was added:



Archealologist & Orientalist

Membre de Institut de France

BORN 6TH MAY 1904      DIED 19TH AUG 1978″

BTW did you spot the spelling mistake? Max’s occupation archaeologist was misspelt.

8 responses to “A Visit to Agatha Christie’s Grave”

  1. We were at the grave today 16.07.2018 and put down dahlias
    when you visit her
    please bring water to the flowers

  2. I have just seen your message. Thank you for leaving some flowers, they are always welcome. As the local guide I try to look after the burial site and greet visitors. We have many visitors to Cholsey and Germany is one of the main countries represented. Even my wife is from Munchen!
    Agatha Christie lived in Cholsey for 42 years and it was here that she wrote most of her books. I hope you enjoyed your visit.

    Tony Rayner

  3. Thank you. We have had so many happy hours reading her books and watching tv adaptations! How nice to think of her and MM sleeping in peace and beauty.

  4. Been an avid fan of Agatha’s for over 50 years since I was hooked on reading for the first time “Murder for Christmas”. Buy every book I can find of hers and see the movies based on the books. Just saw Death on the Nile. Agatha will live in infamy. She is by far my most favorite author S. D. Akron, Ohio USA

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