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Hepburn Graves

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Estate Lane, Smeaton VIC 3364

Explore other locations around this area using our interactive map

Features

  • Historic family cemetery
  • Walk
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Gravel parking area
  • Information signs
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. 

Hepburn Graves is accessed via a short walk through farmland beginning at a gravel parking area off Estate Lane in Smeaton.

Enter the gate at the far end of the car park to begin the walk. Sign posts mark the way, just walk straight ahead along the fence line until you reach the cemetery. There may be car or animal tracks heading off in other directions through the fields, just ignore those and walk in a straight line from the parking area. Please close the gates behind you at the car park and at the cemetery entrance. 
  • 750 m walk to reach the cemetery.
  • 40 minutes return.
  • No formed track - may be uneven ground and trip hazards. Possibly muddy in wet conditions.
  • Surrounding farmland is private property - do not wander off through the fields.
The following text is displayed on an information sign at the Hepburn Graves parking area along Estate Lane in Smeaton:

Welcome to Hepburn Graves

Return travel time 40 minutes.

To access the grave site please follow the track for 750 metres. The unmade track is marked by posts. It may be wet at times and is not suitable for disabled access.

Please close all gates, keep to the track and take all your rubbish home.

Visitors enter at their own risk. 

The following text is displayed on an information sign at the entrance to the Hepburn Graves cemetery:

Hepburn Graves

The grave site has been used for burials by the Hepburn family since 1859. When the family sold the property in 1904 they excised the grave site and access road from the main title. After the death of the last family trustee the land with the graves was acquired by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria). The site is cared for by the Ballarat Branch of the National Trust and the owners of Smeaton House. 

The headstones commemorate:
  1. John Stuart Hepburn, Eliza Hepburn, Thomas Hepburn, Alice May Butterworth.
  2. Alice Hepburn Murray, her husband Charles J.B. Murray and daughter Eliza Marion Murton.
  3. Harriet Frances Hepburn, Alice Ella Purey-Cust, George Stuart Hepburn, John Stuart Hepburn, George Stanley Hepburn, Elaine May Hepburn, May Ina Hepburn MacGeorge.
  4. Henry Hepburn 1842 - 1874 (died at sea).
  5. Benjamin Hepburn
  6. John Stevens - long time gardener at Smeaton House. No headstone - his grave is marked by white stones. 
The Victorian Heritage Database provides the following information on Hepburn Graves:

Hepburn Graves is the private family cemetery established by pastoralist, Captain Hepburn near his homestead, 'Smeaton House'. Hepburn (died 1860), his wife, family and relatives are buried in the cemetery with one retainer. The cemetery is fenced and plantings enhance the graves. Hepburn Graves are important as an intact private cemetery, representative of a number of such cemeteries associated with Pastoral Holdings. The graves have historical associations with the Hepburn family and are an excellent example of the arrangement, elements and plantings of a small nineteenth century cemetery. Captain Hepburn's grave is a notable example of a tombstone of the period. 

SEE ALSO


DID YOU KNOW...

  • Bushwalking is an excellent way to get outdoors and exploring nature.
  • Many cemeteries in the goldfields were established in the early-mid 19th century. Walking through the historic cemeteries of the area is like taking a walk through time.
 

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