THE York graveyard where notorious highwayman Dick Turpin is thought to be buried is set for a revamp.

York Cares, a charity which runs a volunteering programme for businesses, is sending a team of corporate volunteers to the closed graveyard at the end of October to carry out a major clear-up.

The volunteers from insurance firm Aviva are set to trim back hedges at the front so improved fencing can be installed, begin laying a new path around the side of the graveyard and install an information board.

Smarter York, a community project run by City of York Council, hopes volunteers will then come forward to maintain the graveyard in future. Anyone interested should contact Iain Dunn at Smarter York via

A York Cares spokeswoman said the intention of the revamp was not only to improve access to Turpin's grave but also to improve the graveyard for the use of local people, as had happened at other locations in the city, such as Bishophill.

The graveyard, situated across the road from St George's Roman Catholic Church in George Street, between Piccadilly and Walmgate, has a stone which states: "John Palmer, otherwise Richard Turpin, the notorious highwayman and horse stealer, executed at Tyburn April 7 1739 and buried in St George's churchyard."

Research by historian Dr Katherine Prior has revealed details of Dick's burial. Mourners laid his body out in the Blue Boar tavern in Castlegate before he was buried in St George’s Churchyard. His grave was dug very deep in the hope of thwarting grave robbers looking for fresh bodies to sell to medical schools, but the efforts were in vain, as his body was dug up and carted off.

However, an outraged mob then raided the garden where the body was said to be, seized it back and paraded it around York on a board for some hours before reburying it.