Port Macquarie Second Burying Ground | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Port Macquarie Second Burying Ground

Item details

Name of item: Port Macquarie Second Burying Ground
Other name/s: General Cemetery (Old)
Type of item: Archaeological-Terrestrial
Group/Collection: Cemeteries and Burial Sites
Category: Cemetery/Graveyard/Burial Ground
Location: Lat: 0 Long: 0
Primary address: Gordon Street, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444
Parish: Macquarie
County: Macquarie
Local govt. area: Port Macquarie-Hastings
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Gordon StreetPort MacquariePort Macquarie-HastingsMacquarieMacquariePrimary Address
Horton StreetPort MacquariePort Macquarie-Hastings  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

One of the best known historic sites on the NSW north coast. An important element within the Port Macquarie townscape. Features an excellent range of well executed early monuments; some with unusual and naive designs. Includes the graves of a number of prominent individuals, most notably John Verge.

Has potential to contribute to the understanding of local history, building techniques, craftsmanship and funeral practice.
Date significance updated: 23 Feb 11
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Physical description: National Trust:
Area 3.2ha, approx no. burials 130+.
The Port Macquarie Historic Cemetery lies immediately south of Gordon St, and abuting Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park. The Nature Park was developed by Hastings Municipal Council in conjunction with a local committee as a Bicentennial Project. The cemetery occupies a well-grassed ridge. A steep bank of (c1950) landscaping with annuals lies between Gordon Street and the cemetery, but is not actually visible from the cemetery itself. A large number of mature trees are presently spaced about the site. These incude Camphor laurels, Cypress, Norfolk Island Pines, Pinus radiata and small figs.
A number of more recent plantings are present including maple, birdsnest ferns and a small loquat.
Graves, which generally face east, date from the second half of the Nineteenth Century. The earliest burial was apparently made c.1824. The majority of monuments in the cemetery are sandstone stelae of various designs; some simple semicircular examples, others more ornate with a great range of motifs in low and high relief. Many include a large amount of data about the pioneers of the Port Macquarie area. A very large proportion are outstanding examples of craftmanship.
Dominant elements include the grave of Joseph Wallace (1882), a 2.5m white gabled pillar and a large Greek revival urn on an altar to architect John Verge (9/7/1861). The southern end of the cemetery features several classical altars, all constructed on a sandstone , brick or paved base, each approximately one metre high with sandstone cappings on which the inscription is made and brick sides covered in plaster with fine classical pilasters and other details. Unfortunately several of these graves are extremely badly damaged and corroded and this damage has been exacerbated by the use of Portland Cement. Towards the southern extremity of the site an extremely competent restoration has been carried out on the grave of members of the Summer family. These graves are semicircular, sandstone stelae of elegant designs which feature arched pilasters. Each has been cleverly repaired by mason Edstein of Taree using non-ferrous dowels and matching mortar to the existing stonework. Also at the southern end of the cemetery are a number of Jewish graves of unusual design. In this area a small number of cane bulbs were noted growing in the kikuyu grass which covers the rest of the site.

During the preparation of the Hastings Heritage Study in 1990 it was noted that other significant features included a centrally located three metre high white timber pergola covered with creeper, a curved brick wall at the north-western corner of the site (made of convict bricks and commemorating Port Macquarie Historic Cemetery's 1966 winning of the Sydney Morning Herald Garden Competition), an unsympathetic 1950s fountain at the north-western end of the site and a number of park benches. A small brick toilet block has been appropriately sited at the north-western end of the site and is not visible from the cemetery. One additional outstanding feature of this site is an excellent collection of cast and wrought iron surrounds. These feature a wide range of design and motifs. Unfortunately several are badly damaged but all have recently been treated with rust-preventive lead oxide paint.
A memorial plaque at the northern end of the landscaped garden indicates that the garden was planted to commemorate the early settlers and convicts who "in harsh and grim conditions established Port Macquarie". This plaque was laid by the Hastings Municipal Council on 10th April 1963.
It is intended by the Hastings Municipal Council that a restoration program be undertaken at the cemetery as part of Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park proposal. A number of what were considered to be inappropriate plantings have already been removed. It is proposed that restoration of the monuments be carried out by the Hastings Municipal Council with the possibility of assistance from the Friends of Kooloonbung Nature Reserve and the Port Macquarie Conservation Society. The Historical Society has also been involved and will be responsible for the erection of a small commemorative plaque which outlines the site's history and draws attention to noteworthy individuals.

In December 1986, the Friends of Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park advised that the 1950s fountain mentioned above had been removed, the park benches have been replaced by oiled timber seats, and the white pergola has also been removed. Additional interpretative plaques are to be attached to the following monuments:
1. Jean Charles Lamonnerie dit Fattorini - 1853
2. Horatio Thomas Norris Tozer - 1865
3. Corporal Fahy - 1838 or 1839 (15th April)
4. Major James Henry Crummer - 1867
5. Margarey Innes - 1858
6. Major Archibald Clunes Innes - 1857
7. The Reverend John Cross - 1858
8. John Verge - 1861

Three other graves of particular note, recorded by Mr Mowle, are:
David Davies - 1836. A.M. 5596. Brother of bushranger shot near Kempsey.
Jennit Hartie - 1837, widow of Robert - Baker of Sydney, aged 31.
Eliza Murphy - 1824, daughter of Corporal Murphy, 3rd Regiment of Buggs, died Nov 5th 1824, aged 4 months. This is the oldest stone and evidently cut by her father or some inexperienced cutter from local stone.
Further information: Part of North Coast Regional Heritage Study, 1990.
Current use: Monument/cemetery
Former use: Monument/cemetery


Historical notes: North Coast Regional Heritage Study, 1990:
First burial appears to have been c 1824. Cemetery is marked on 1831 map of the town by T.L.Mitchell. Burial place of many local pioneers such as John Verge, the architect. Although Major Innes, owner of "Lake Innes", gravestone is in the cemetery he is buried in Newcastle. The grave stone was relocated from Newcastle when that cemetery was redeveloped.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities (none)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
This item is assessed as historically significant statewide.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
This item is assessed as aesthetically significant statewide.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
This item is assessed as socially significant locally.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
This item is assessed as scientifically significant statewide.
SHR Criteria f)
This item is assessed as socially rare locally.
SHR Criteria g)
This item is assessed as scientifically representative regionally.
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:

See Physical Description.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanPMH LEP 2011I00323 Feb 11   
Local Environmental Plan - LapsedHastings LEP 1987HS000306 Aug 93 864445
Local Environmental Plan - LapsedHastings LEP 2001HS000308 Jun 01 953537
Heritage study HS0003   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Hastings Heritage Study1991HS0003Suters Architects Snell  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  AO Map 3673, 3679
WrittenPort Macquarie Historical Society1996The Winding Sheet

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

(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: 1730003

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