Port Macquarie Second Burying Ground 1824 - 1886 | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Port Macquarie Second Burying Ground 1824 - 1886

Item details

Name of item: Port Macquarie Second Burying Ground 1824 - 1886
Other name/s: Second Burial Ground; Historic Cemetery
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Cemeteries and Burial Sites
Category: Cemetery/Graveyard/Burial Ground
Location: Lat: -31.4346891783 Long: 152.9083211750
Primary address: Gordon 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
VOL787 FOL730
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Gordon StreetPort MacquariePort Macquarie-Hastings  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Port Macquarie-Hastings CouncilLocal Government 

Statement of significance:

The cultural landscape at the Second Burying Ground is of State heritage significance. The cemetery is a place possessing historical, social, architectural, cultural, aesthetic and archaeological significance for the Hastings region and the State of New South Wales.

The Second 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 1,400, whose lives contributed to and enriched the history and development of a significant area of New South Wales. In its layout and monuments it demonstrates the religious philosophies and changing attitudes to death and its commemoration by a significant sample of the Australian population over a period of more than 170 years.

The Second 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 Second Burying Ground is important in demonstrating aesthetic characteristics in New South Wales.

The Second 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 it is still used by the local community of Port Macquarie and is listed on several registers of heritage items.

The Second 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 landscape design, funerary monuments, social history and genealogy for present and future generations of Australians.

By virtue of its early date of commencement (1824, well prior to the commencement of civil registration of births, deaths and marriages in NSW), historical associations and surviving monuments, the Second 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 Second Burying Ground demonstrates the principle characteristics of a class of the cultural places of New South Wales. It is representative of early convict era burial grounds. It demonstrates funerary monument styles and approaches to management of small cemeteries over a significant period of time.
Date significance updated: 23 Jun 05
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 possibly chosen by Captain Allman
Builder/Maker: Various stonemasons
Construction years: 1824-1886
Physical description: The Second Burying Ground occupies a hilly peninsular at the southern edge of the commercial area of Port Macquarie, north of the confluence of the present day Wrights and Kooloonbung Creeks. The northern edge of the cemetery is defined by Gordon Street, a major east-west thoroghfare in the town and the other three sides of the cemetery adjoin the Kooloonbung nature Park, an area of conserved wetland, arboretum and parkland.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The cemetery is generally in good condition. It is managed as an historic site and public parkland, with surviving monuments scattered through the landscape. A perimeter brick path provides access around the cemetery and through the town centre to the nature Park. Many of the monuments have been set in concrete slabs. While this may have protected some of them from damage as a result of vandalism, it has exacerbated rising damp problems in susceptible sandstone and has a negative visual impact on the cultural landscape. None of the original path network is visible and most of the approximately 1,400 burilas are unmarked. 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. (Betteridge 2002).
Date condition updated:23 Feb 10
Modifications and dates: The vast najority of burial sites are unmarked.
The landscape has been modified on several occasions in conversion to public parkland.
Most remaining monuments were set in concrete slabs c. 1960s.
Memorial plaque to this interred erected April 1963.
The site was converted to a Nature Patrk in 1980s with planting of ornamental trees and shrubs, construction of brick pathway, erection of directional signage, and some interpretative signs.
A pavillion, interpretative shelter and toilet block were erected in the 1990s?
Some significant monuments were restored in the early 1990s.
Current use: Cemetery
Former use: Cemetery

History

Historical notes: The dramatic rise in the population of Port Macquarie and consequent increase in deaths, required authorities to select a new burying ground to to replace the first one on Allman Hill, overlooking the mouth of the Hastings River. The site chosen was a peninsula of ground south of the settlement, at the confluence of the present Wrights and Kooloonbung Creeks. The four acre site selected had been described by John Oxley in 1818 as being bushy, and hence must have been cleared for the purposes of a cemetery. The first burial, that of an infant, Elizabeth Murphy, took place towards the south end of the peninsula on 15 November, 1824.

The Second Burying Ground was dedicated as a Reserve for the Preservation of Graves on 2 July, 1863. Between 1824 and 1886, when the cemetery was closed to burials, some 1,400 individuals were interred there, many of them convicts from the early penal settlement.

On 21 December, 1910, the Second Burying Ground was formally dedicated for the Preservation of Graves. The conditions of the cemetery deteriorated for several decades, and it was not until the 1960s that efforts were made to restore and recognise the significance of the cemetery as the last resting place of many of those who had contributed to the establishment and development of Port Macquarie and the Hastings district. Unfortunately by this time many of the burial sites had become obscured and most monuments had fallen into direpair. Today only 92 funerary monuments or parts thereof remain on site.

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-
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-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Second 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 1,400 individuals whose lives contributed to and enriched the history and development of a significant area of New South Wales. In its layout and monuments it demonstrates the religious philosophies and changing attitudes to death and its commemoration by a significant sample of the Australian population over a period of more than 170 years.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The Second 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 Second Burying Ground is important in demonstrating aesthetic characteristics in New South Wales. The cemetery exhibits a range of monumental styles reflecting changing approaches to the commemoration of the dead in a number of religious denominations.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Second 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 it is still regularly visited by the local community of Port Macquarie and is listed on several registers of heritage items.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The Second 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 landscape design, funerary monuments, social history and genealogy for present and future generations of Australians.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
By virtue of its early date of commencement (1824, well prior to the commencement of civil registration of births, deaths and marriages in NSW), historical associations and surviving monuments, the Second 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 Second Burying Ground demonstrates the principle characteristics of a class of the cultural places of New South Wales. It is representative of early convict era burial grounds. It demonstrates funerary monument styles and approaches to management of small cemeteries over a significant period of time.
Integrity/Intactness: Whilst the cemetery has lost much of its original fabric, it retains many early monuments including those 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 0173101 Jul 05 813501

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Port Macquarie Second Burying Ground 1824-1886 View detail
WrittenBetteridge, Chris2002Port Macquarie Historic Cemeteries: Conservation Management Plan
TourismEscape travel2013Port Macquarie Second Burying Ground View detail
WrittenFriends of Kooloonbung Creek Nature park1988Transcripts of Headstones in Port Macquarie Historic Cemetery
WrittenGriffin, Gwendoline & Howell, Ronald1996The Winding Sheet: Port Macquarie
WrittenHastings Heritage Committee2001Port Macquarie's Heritage
WrittenHeritage Design Services, NSW Depoartment of Public Works1999Port Macquarie Archaeology Interpretation Masterplan
WrittenHigginbotham, E.1990Historical Archaeology of Hastings Municipal Council, NSW
TourismHistory Services2007Port Macquarie Second Burying Ground 1824 - 1886 View detail
TourismPort Macquarie-Hastings Council2006Cemetery, Second Burying Ground - Tourism Website View detail
WrittenUptin, C. T. & Hastings District Historical Society1983The History of Port Macquarie, 3rd Rev. Ed.
WrittenWrigley, John W.1985Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park: A Development Plan

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: 5053622
File number: H04/00360


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