Identifying the Location
Identifying the position of the cemetery has been difficult due to the small amount of material available to draw any confident conclusions as to its precise location.
Apart from the Church of England graveyard and the Catholic cemetery there are three references made to another cemetery, aka the burying ground or burial ground between 1852 and 1859.
- The first reference is a letter from a committee formed by the Church of England (C of E) residents of Tambaroura dated October 1852 making application for an allotment of land for the erection of a Church and School, included in the application was also for a piece of land presently being used as a burial ground, there already being 10 interments within the ground. Although no location is noted for this burial ground it precedes the first known graveyard created by the C of E in 1854 by at least 18 months. No other mention is made relating to the residents request for the burial ground, their application was approved only for land for a Church, School and Parsonage, even the location requested was changed from behind the Barracks to further out of town to the future Section 16 as eventually surveyed in 1859. One could only assume that for the C of E residents to request this burial ground they had knowledge of those who were interred in it and their faith. (511)
- The second mention made is an article in the Sydney Morning Herald describing the finding of a
approximately 300 yards behind the burying ground near Mr. Cullen's slaughtering yard. Another article in the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser describes the location of the Chinaman
behind Cullen's slaughtering yard.
Three slaughter yards have been identified in the town in 1858 but only one appears to fit the description given in the above newspaper articles. The boxed area in the top right of Figure 1 below is noted as being a slaughter yard in the 1859 plan. The Sydney Morning Herald article notes the person was found deceased 300 yards behind the burying ground near Cullen's slaughter yard, the distance from the cemetery (burying ground) to Cullen's slaughtering yard is approximately 220 yards but the second article from the Maitland Mercury notes the deceased person was found behind Cullen's slaughter yard putting a greater distance between the cemetery (burying ground) and the deceased person. Not knowing the distance the deceased person was behind Cullen's slaughter yard from the second article it could be considered that the approximate distance of 300 yards from the burying ground is feasible.
What I have found is that in articles describing locations in and around town, the word "behind" has been used to describe a site or event that is further from the centre of town than the site being used as the reference e.g., "the Watch House is located behind the Railway Hotel", indicating the Watch House is not only behind but is also further away from the centre of town then the Railway Hotel is.
- The third reference found is the 1859 Town Plan by Surveyor Price, this shows the location of a cemetery and is notated as such, see Figure 1 below. The purpose of this 1859 Plan was to formalize the layout of the town in preparation for its naming in 1860. The Plan shows the end result of Surveyor Prices efforts, what he saw on the ground at the time is what he reproduced in this Plan. Hence the cemetery and slaughter yards were in situ at the time of the survey.
Figure 1 - Cropped area of the 1859 Plan showing proposed allotment boundaries for the Town,
the location of the cemetery and slaughtering yards and the Surveyors Table
The survey marker used in Figure 1 for survey lines 2, 9 and 11 no longer exists, it was a casualty of a hydraulically sluiced area. No trace on ground has been found of a replacement.
All subsequent plans produced in 1859 and 1860 show the cemetery in the same position, this is the result of copying from the original 1859 map and the area not being re-surveyed, these later maps show the shape of the cemetery and the slaughter yards but none note them by name. Later charting plans do not show the cemetery.
No mining activity has been identified in this area, the Tambaroora and Turon River Gold Field Map of 1877 does not show any Leases being applied for or issued. Later mining applications from post the 1874 Mining Act again show no activity in the area.
In 1893 the area was surveyed by Surveyor Blackett for the development of suburban lots in the north east corner of the town. No indication of the cemetery is shown nor is any mention made in his survey notes. The area does appear to have a history of slaughter yards with the addition of two other yards either still operational at the time of the 1893 survey or their remnants were visible to the Surveyor, these yards are positioned just to the east of where the cemetery is located. This could indicate that the cemetery area has been well trodden by stock movement over the preceding years.
Using the scale on the 1859 Plan the measurement of the cemetery is 90 feet x 45 feet or 136 links x 68 links, again GEP has been used to determine the size.
Surveying the Site
Figure 2 below is used to identify the area of interest.
Figure 2 - Satellite image of the Town and area of Interest - (Google Earth Pro [GEP])
The image below shows a close up of the area of interest taken from Surveyor Prices 1859 Town map.
Figure 3 - Cropped area of the 1859 Town Map of Tambaroora showing the area of Interest (Surveyor Price)
Figure 4 - This image shows the 1859 town map overlaid on the GEP satellite image, certain manmade features are still in existence and can be identified on both the GEP satellite image and the 1859 town map, in particular Lots 5 and 6 of Section 4 (Hodges property), Lot 5 of Section 6, Lots 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Section 8 and the Church of England site on Lot 2 Section 16. These points allowed to accurately site the overlay map on the GEP satellite image, and confirmed the magnetic variation for circa 1859.
To determine the location of the pioneer cemetery(PC) I used the surveyors table of measurements (see Figure 5) to create a drawing to reflect those measurements which appear to be specific to finding the site of the PC, see Figure 6.
Figure 5 - Table of Measurements for the 1859 Tambaroora Town Plan
Figure 6 - CAD drawing showing the measurements obtained from the surveyors table
The drawing was then overlaid on the 1859 town map in GEP and manipulated to match the magnetic variation and layout of the town. Particular attention was paid to the following in Figure 7:
the "TOWN BOUNDARY" line from the CAD drawing matched the 1859 maps town boundary,
the eastern boundary of Section 4 and Line No.3 in the CAD drawing were in alignment as this represented an existing manmade feature of a straight line being the front boundary fences of Section 4, and
all measurements were checked using the measuring tool in GEP to ensure that the measurements produced by GEP matched those of the drawing, this confirmed that the overlay was to the correct scale and orientation.
Figure 7 - This image shows the above CAD drawing overlaid on GEP and scaled to match GEP scale.
Line 3 = 820.25 links / 541.365 feet - Line 9 = 458.25 / 302.445 feet - Line 10 = 1100 links / 726 feet
Figure 8 below shows a close up view of the CAD drawing and the 1859 Town Map overlaid on GEP and scaled to match GEP scale. The red lines were input by GEP from the CAD drawing and as can be seen they overlay exactly the lines shown on the 1859 map, this speaks volumes as to the accuracy of the Surveyors measurements and scaling of the images. The only exception is the end of Line 10 shown at "B", on the 1859 map it overshoots the red line by 12 feet.
Figure 8 - Close up view of the CAD drawing and the 1859 Town Map overlaid on GEP.
The end result being a location at the end of Line 10 at point "B" -32.996666° 149.427521°, which I can only assume is for the cemetery, from the close up image above it can be seen that Line 10 does not go to a survey marker that is in contact with the cemetery. In attempting to site the cemetery accurately all that could be done was to measure the distance and angle from the end of Line 10 at point B to what I could only assume was the centre of the cemetery marked on the map.
To date (2018) no Surveyors Notebook has been found for Surveyor Prices survey of the Town.
(The search continues - information to be added when found)