Port Macquarie First (Allman Hill) Burying Ground 1822 - 1824 | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Port Macquarie First (Allman Hill) Burying Ground 1822 - 1824

Item details

Name of item: Port Macquarie First (Allman Hill) Burying Ground 1822 - 1824
Other name/s: Allman Hill Burying Ground, Port Macquarie Burying Ground, Old Port Macquarie Cemetery
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Cemeteries and Burial Sites
Category: Cemetery/Graveyard/Burial Ground
Location: Lat: -31.4282324864 Long: 152.9138067450
Primary address: Clarence Street, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444
Local govt. area: Port Macquarie-Hastings
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Birpai
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
RESERVE62916 Reserve62916
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Clarence StreetPort MacquariePort Macquarie-Hastings  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Port Macquarie-Hastings CouncilLocal Government 

Statement of significance:

The cultural landscape of the Allman Hill Burying Ground at Port Macquarie is of State Heritage Significance as a place of historical, social, architectural, cultural, archaeological and aesthetic significance for the Hastings region and the State of New South Wales.

The Allman Hill Burying Ground is important in the course and pattern of the cultural history of New South Wales because of its historical associations and significant documentary and physical evidence of the evolution of the place, being the burial place for at least 28 persons, whose lives contributed to and enriched the history and development of a significant settlement in New South Wales.

The Allman Hill Burying Ground is historically significant at a State level for its strong associations with a number of individuals and families important in the development of Port Macquarie and New South Wales.

The Allman Hill Burying Ground is important in demonstrating aesthetic characteristics in New South Wales. The cemetery exhibits two monumental styles reflecting contemporary approaches to the commemoration of the dead. The setting for the burying ground, on a hillside overlooking the mouth of the Hastings River produces a dramatic cultural landscape with high visual appeal.

The Allman Hill Burying Ground has strong associations for social and cultural reasons with the past and contemporary community of Port Macquarie, an area settled early in the development of the colony of New South Wales.

The high esteem in which the place is held by a significant group within the community is reflected in the fact that its conservation is widely supported by the local community of Port Macquarie, the site is visited by many tourists to the area and the place is listed on several registers of heritage items.

(The Allman Hill Burying Ground has potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of NSW's cultural history. The cemetery has considerable educational and interpretative potential as a resource for the study of subjects such as architecture, design, social history and genealogy for present and future generations of Australians.

By virtue of its early date of commencement (1821, prior to the commencement of civil registration of births, deaths and marriages in NSW), historical associations and surviving monuments, the Allman Hill Burying Ground possesses rare aspects of NSW's cultural history. Each cemetery is unique since it contains the buried remains of persons different from any other place.

The Allman Hill Burying Ground demonstrates the principle characteristics of a class of the cultural places of New South Wales. It is representative of the rare class of early convict era burial grounds. (Betteridge 2002: 7)
Date significance updated: 18 Nov 04
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.

Description

Designer/Maker: Unknown. Site chosen by Captain Allman
Construction years: 1822-1824
Physical description: Allman Hill Burying Ground is located on an exposed grassy site with a northerly aspect at the top of a slope overlooking the breakwater at the mouth of the Hastings River. The site drops away sharply to the north to the foreshore parkland and a caravan park. It is bounded on the west by multi-storey residential development, on the south by Clarence Street and on the east by public parklands, with toursist parking and picnic facilities.

The four remaining monuments on Allman Hill are within a four metre square fenced enclosure, two stelae having been relocated from their original positions nearby. There are no ornamental plantings at the Allma Hill Burying Ground although cement urns at two corners of the concrete slabs were apparently once planted with pelargoniums. (Betteridge 2001).
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The First Burying Ground is generally in good condition. It is managed as an historic site and public parkland, with four surviving monuments set in a concrete slab within an iron palisade fence. The burial area is likely to have extended a considerable distance beyond the present area occupied by monuments i.e, on the slopes of the hill. The site has considerable archaeological potential.
Modifications and dates: The majority of the 28 burial sites are unmarked.
The original cemetery area was reduced when Clarence Street extended, thereby separating the extant cemetery site from the land now occupied by East Port Macquarie Primar School.
Landscape modified on several occasions in conversion to public parkland.
Remaining monuments (4) set in concrete slabs c. 1960s.
Current use: Public Parkland
Former use: Cemetery 1822 - 1824.

History

Historical notes: In the early days of the Penal Settlement at Port Macquarie it was appricated that there would be a need for a burial ground. The absence of wheeled vehicles and the wooded nature of the surrounding countryside probably dictated the chosen site, on a convenient hillside, with good drainage, easy tilling and relative remoteness from the centre of the then settlement. The first burial of convict James McMahon took place on 22 July, 1822, and the last of a total of 28 internments was that of convict John Abrahams, on 14 November, 1824. By this time there was a need for a new burial ground, further from the settled area, and the Second Burying Ground was established, on a peninsula to the south of the Settlement.

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 Experiencing secondary punishment-
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 Burying convicts-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of remembrance-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship (none)-
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. Burying the dead in customary ways-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with John Verge, architect-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Allman Hill Burying Ground is important in the course and pattern of the cultural history of New South Wales because of its historical associations and significant documentary and physical evidence of the evolution of the place, being the burial place for at least 28 persons, whose lives contributed to and enriched the history and development of a significant settlement in New South Wales.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The Allman Hill Burying Ground is historically significant at a State level for its strong associations with a number of individuals and families important in the development of Port Macquarie and New South Wales.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Allman Hill Burying Ground is important in demonstrating aesthetic characteristics in New South Wales. The cemetery exhibits two monumental styles reflecting contemporary approaches to the commemoration of the dead. The setting for the burying ground, on a hillside overlooking the mouth of the Hastings River produces a dramatic cultural landscape with high visual appeal.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Allman Hill Burying Ground has strong associations for social and cultural reasons with the past and contemporary community of Port Macquarie, an area settled early in the development of the colony of New South Wales.

The high esteem in which the place is held by a significant group within the community is reflected in the fact that its conservation is widely supported by the local community of Port Macquarie, the site is visited by many tourists to the area and the place is listed on several registers of heritage items.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The Allman Hill Burying Ground has potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of NSW's cultural history. The cemetery has considerable educational and interpretative potential as a resource for the study of subjects such as architecture, design, social history and genealogy for present and future generations of Australians.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
By virtue of its early date of commencement (1821, prior to the commencement of civil registration of births, deaths and marriages in NSW), historical associations and surviving monuments, the Allman Hill Burying Ground possesses rare aspects of NSW's cultural history. Each cemetery is unique since it contains the buried remains of persons different from any other place.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The Allman Hill Burying Ground demonstrates the principle characteristics of a class of the cultural places of New South Wales. It is representative of the rare class of early convict era burial grounds.
Integrity/Intactness: The cemetery has lost much of its original fabric, however, it retains four very early monuments, from the convict era at Port Macquarie.
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.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for commentMitch Mackay (Hastings Council) Apr 10 2002
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0173001 Jul 05 813501

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Management PlanChris Betteridge & Musecape2002Port Macquarie Historic Cemeteries Conservation Management Plan
WrittenFriends of Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park1988Transcripts of Headstones in Port Macquarie Historic Cemetery
WrittenGriffin, Gwendoline & Howell, Ronald.1996The Winding Sheet, Port Macquarie
WrittenHastings District Historical Society1983The History of Port Macquarie, 3rd Rev. Ed.
WrittenHastings Heritage Committee2001Port Macquarie's Heritage
WrittenHeritage Design Services, NSW Department of Public Works1999Port Macquarie Archaeology Interpretation Masterplan
WrittenHigginbotham, Edward1990Historical Archaeology of Hastings Municipal Council, NSW (Appendix 2 of Hastings Heritage Study)

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

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5053340
File number: S92/01219


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