South Head Cemetery | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


South Head Cemetery

Item details

Name of item: South Head Cemetery
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Cemeteries and Burial Sites
Category: Cemetery/Graveyard/Burial Ground
Primary address: Old South Head Road, Diamond Bay, NSW 2030
Parish: Alexandria
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Waverley
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Old South Head RoadDiamond BayWaverleyAlexandriaCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

The earliest cemetery in the Waverley district. Of special interest for its administration by a private trust from 1845 to 1941. Includes the graves of several prominent citizens. One of the best maintained and intact old cemeteries in Sydney. An excellent reminder of Victorian and Edwardian attitudes to life and death. Especially important for headstones from the period 1900-1950. Headstones in a fine state of preservation. 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: 1811-1890
Physical description: Cemetery site dating from 1845. Sited above Diamond Bay overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Surrounded by a low stone wall and impressive entry gates (of bronze). Headstones (graves) from the period 1900-1950. Few headstones were found dating earlier than the 1870's. Many prominent citizens including Governors Davidson and Robertson. The cemetery has mown grass between the plots. Hardly any shrubs or trees within its walls, though groups and rows of Canary Island palms (c.1925), and later Norfolk Island palms and New Zealand Christmas trees, surround the boundary. Modest ancillary buildings date from c.1950.
Current use: Cemetery
Former use: Cemetery


Historical notes: Originally 4000m2 (1 acre) in area. Granted to local residents by Governor Gipps in 1845. Administered by local trust until 1941 when it was finally taken over by Waverley Council.

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 landmark and 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   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Waverley Heritage Study1990L1/2000Perumal Murphy Pty Limited  No

References, internet links & images


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

rez rez rez
(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: 2620397

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.