Waverley Cemetery | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Waverley Cemetery

Item details

Name of item: Waverley Cemetery
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Cemeteries and Burial Sites
Category: Cemetery/Graveyard/Burial Ground
Primary address: St Thomas Street, Waverley, NSW 2024
Parish: Alexandria
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Waverley
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
St Thomas StreetWaverleyWaverleyAlexandriaCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

Impressive period cemetery, especially remarkable for its dramatic coastal site. Well preserved, retaining much of its original Victorian period character. Stone buildings, gates and fencing are of outstanding aesthetic value. Cemetery includes the graves of many prominent historical figures. Excellent surviving reminder of Victorian and Edwardian attitudes to life and death. One of Sydney's largest and best known old cemeteries. State significance.
Date significance updated: 07 Feb 00
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.


Construction years: 1851-1890
Physical description: Cemetery on dramatic coastal site, retaining much of its original Victorian character. Elements surviving from the Victorian period include the general layout of graves and access roads, the imposing carved sandstone gateposts, the cast iron gates and fencing (dated 1877), the finely detailed stone gateway building, the many Victorian monuments and headstones, stone gutters to some access roads and timber picket boundary fencing (possibly from c.1880). (See also archaeological inventory). Site of Banjo Patterson's grave, amonst others.
Current use: Cemetery
Former use: Cemetery


Historical notes: The NSW Government financed the purchase of 4 hectares (10 acres) for a cemetery in the 1870's, on the understanding that Waverley Council would be responsible for its maintenance. An adjoining 5 hectares (12 acres) was a gift from local citizens. The cemetery's first internment was in August, 1877. A sinking fund was set up in 1892 to cover ongoing maintenance. Served the whole of the Eastern Suburbs for over a century.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Birth and Death-Activities associated with the initial stages of human life and the bearing of children, and with the final stages of human life and disposal of the dead. (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
This item is of historical and cultural significance
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
This item is of streetscape/landscape significance
Integrity/Intactness: Substantially intact
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.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  06 Dec 96   
Local Environmental Plan  26 Oct 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Waverley Heritage Study1990L20/2018Perumal Murphy Pty Limited  No

References, internet links & images


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: 2620382

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.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.