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Fascinating cemeteries of the Victorian Goldfields

Posted 10/04/2018 in Places
Along with the 19th century gold rush came the inevitable establishment of many cemeteries throughout the Victorian Goldfields. A wander through a historic cemetery within the goldfields can be quite captivating and educational. Some cemeteries are still in use today, others have been long abandoned. Take a look through this list showing some of the most fascinating cemeteries of the Victorian Goldfields.

The Pennyweight Flat Children's Cemetery in Moonlight Flat is a heartbreaking result of the awful living conditions in the diggings during the gold rush of the 1850s. Around 200 shallow graves, most marked only by small stone rings and piles, are scattered amongst the trees. Read more...

2. Deadman's Gully Burial Ground, Golden Point (Castlemaine) VIC

There is nothing immediately striking about the quiet patch of bushland overlooking Deadman's Gully in Golden Point, Castlemaine, but an attentive walk among the trees soon reveals the telltale stone rings, piles and earth mounds of an early gold rush cemetery. Read more...

3. Joyces Creek Cemetery, Joyces Creek VIC

The Joyces Creek Public Cemetery was opened in 1854 and contains several interesting graves in the historic section. Multiple plaques have been added in recent years. Interesting graves include those of local pioneers and convicts. Read more...

4. Waanyarra Historic Cemetery, Waanyarra VIC

Located between Dunolly and Tarnagulla, the Waanyarra Historic Cemetery offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. This cemetery has been beautifully restored and features a gorgeous picket fence, gate, and signage. The oldest surviving marked grave in this cemetery is from 1859, although there are many unmarked graves scattered through the grounds. Read more...

5. Vaughan Chinese Cemetery, Vaughan VIC

Plan a day visit (or camping trip) to the beautiful Vaughan Springs and be sure to stop in at the Chinese Cemetery for a look. The cemetery is conveniently located at the entrance to the springs and is such a fascinating relic of the gold rush days. The Vaughan Chinese Cemetery was established during the great Mount Alexander alluvial gold rush of 1852-54. Read more...

6. Stuart Mill Cemetery, Stuart Mill VIC

This cemetery, established in 1865, contains several wooden tablets as grave markers - a rare surviving example of 19th century grave architecture which is no longer in practice. Along with these remarkable wooden tablets you will find graves of Chinese diggers, large monuments, and a soldiers memorial. Read more...

7. Clunes Cemetery, Clunes VIC

All cemeteries are macabre by nature, but this striking cemetery on the outskirts of Clunes has a particularly gruesome history.

The Clunes Cemetery is the site of a 1920's suicide of an almost theatrical nature. Matthew Birch, sexton at the Clunes Cemetery, was found dead in the yard of the cemetery lodge by his wife early one morning, his head completely blown off. Cause of death was determined to be a deliberate, self inflicted explosion of dynamite. Read more...

A quiet patch of bushland along Pain Killer Gully Road in Dunolly is home to the Dunolly Historical Cemetery. A small number of headstones are scattered through the trees, along with multiple visible unmarked graves. The first burials in the Dunolly Historic Cemetery are believed to have been in 1857 replacing earlier burial grounds. Read more...

9. Moliagul Cemetery, Moliagul VIC

This cemetery lies in a quiet, peaceful spot surrounded by bushland, and is the final resting place of John Deason - co-finder of the largest gold nugget ever discovered, the famous "Welcome Stranger". Read more...

10. Axedale Catholic Cemetery, Axedale VIC

The hauntingly beautiful Axedale Catholic Cemetery is located right alongside the Axedale General Cemetery and is surrounded by charming stone walls. An impressive mausoleum stands proudly among the headstones. Read more...

11. Hepburn Graves, Smeaton VIC

Take a walk across scenic fields to this picturesque family cemetery in Smeaton. Hepburn Graves is the historical private cemetery of the Hepburn family of Smeaton Hill Run. Located near the original homestead, Smeaton House, the cemetery has been excised from the surrounding private land and is now managed by the National Trust of Australia. Read more...




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