Rookwood Cemetery | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Rookwood Cemetery

Item details

Name of item: Rookwood Cemetery
Other name/s: Necropolis
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Cemeteries and Burial Sites
Category: Cemetery/Graveyard/Burial Ground
Primary address: East Street, Rookwood, NSW 2141
Parish: Liberty Plains
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Auburn
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
East StreetRookwoodAuburnLiberty PlainsCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

Rookwood Cemetery or Necropolis is significant because:
- It is one of the largest burial grounds in the World.
- of its scale, quality and diversity of monumental masonry and other works.
- of its rarity as well preserved 19th century cemetery.
- of its historical association with architects, directors of the Botanic Gardens and other individuals.
- it is a unique, large and comprehensive social, genealogical and historical resource.
- it demonstrates a wide diversity in burial practices and religious beliefs.
Date significance updated: 17 Dec 10
Note: There are incomplete details for a number of items listed in NSW. The Heritage Division intends to develop or upgrade statements of significance and other information for these items as resources become available.

Description

Construction years: 1867-
Physical description: Multi- denominational cemetery, 1867 onwards, landscaped layout with a focus of a circular hub or roadway.

Main features of archaeological significance include:
- monumental ,asonry.
- former railway siding and site of mortuary station, sites of 3 other stations.
- cast iron section markers on Necropolis Circuit.
- drainage channels, roads, bridges, paths.
- other buildings, works and sites.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The Rookwood cemetery is in good condition.
Date condition updated:15 Feb 11
Modifications and dates: The Necropolis was enlarged in 1878-9 to accommodate demand for burial plots, and has undergone various stages of construction, maintenance, landscaping and changes in burial practices (cremation was introduced by 1923).

History

Historical notes: Rookwood Cemetery purchased 1862, first dedicated in 1867. Multi denominational usage from commencement, in landscaped grounds. Earliest portion of 200 acres at NW corner of present Necropolis. Originally, six denominations, RC, Anglican, Wesleyan, Presbyterian, Jews and Independent.

Purchase of additional 577 acres in 1878-9. Railway siding provided in 1867, Mortuary Station No.1 in 1869. Railway extended in 1897 and 1908, but closed in 1848, line removed in 1952, stations sold.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Rookwood Cemetery or Necropolis is significant because:
-of its historical association with architects, directors of the Botanic Gardens and other individuals.
-it is a unique, large and comprehensive social, genealogical and historical resource.
- it demonstrates a wide diversity in burial practices and religious beliefs.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Rookwood Cemetery or Necropolis is significant because:
it is a unique, large and comprehensive social and genealogical resource.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Rookwood Cemetery or Necropolis is significant because:
of its rarity as well preserved 19th century cemetery.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

This site should be conserved and managed in accordance with the current plan of management or conservation plan. This site should be placed on the S170 Register of the appropriate government department(s).

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanAuburn Local Environmental Plan 2010A0071829 Oct 10 14111411
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Auburn Heritage Study19964-2-2-100ASchwager Brooks and Partners Pty LtdEdward Higginbotham No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenKass T.1995Historical Context Report: Auburn Heritage Study (Draft Report)

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 1030018


Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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