This cemetery has been mistakenly referred to as the Hill End Cemetery in recent years, at no time has it ever been officially noted as such.
The following is based on factual information taken from Government Gazettes, Maps, Crown Plans and Newspapers of the day.
First Bark C of E Church with graves within the fence line
Holtermann Collection Images Courtesy of State Library of NSW
To understand the location of the Church of England(C of E) graveyard and eventual current general cemetery we must first look at the establishment of the C of E church.
October 1852 saw the appointment and arrival of the Reverend E.B. Proctor to Tambaroura, on the evening of the 19th October after evening service a meeting was held to formulate a plan for the erection of a church to be also used as a school during the week. At this
a committee was formed with the intent of procuring subscriptions towards the erection of the church building.
In October 1852 a deputation of C of E residents from Tambaroora requested to have land allocated for a church and school to be sited behind the Barracks (Commissioners Camp), also requested was the piece of land used as the burial ground which at that time had 10 interments. To date this burial grounds location has not conclusively been ascertained.
1854 saw a list of appropriations of land for religious purposes authorised, included was land allocated to the C of E for a church of 1 acre, a school of 2 roods and a parsonage of 2 roods.
The church was
in July 1854 on the current site of the general cemetery. The realization that the Tambaroora Goldfield was bigger than first thought may have seen those keen to see the establishment of the church and school question the suitability of the site behind the Barracks and revised the location requested and moved to a more stable area south of the main town area. Factors contributing to the move may have included:
- the land behind the barracks otherwise known as the commissioners camp was also the area that one of the first applications for the registration of a quartz vein was made.
- The area was also known as Samuels field or flat which could indicate that it was used to depasture stock prior to the local discovery of gold on the site.
- It was also a site re-visited on numerous occasions by miners with new discoveries being made.
The Crown Plan of the Colonial Gold Company's and W.C. Cole's Quartz Claims and Crushing Works near Tambaroura dated 1855 shows the location of the church at the southern end of the town on one of the tracks to Sofala (507)
. A more detailed Crown Plan of the 3 portions that were allocated shows the layout of the church, school and parsonage. Even though the appropriated land was surveyed, the position of the church, school and fence did not match the Crown Plans (508)
In 1859 Mr. Price, a Licenced Surveyor was issued instructions to undertake a survey of the layout of the town in preparation of it officially becoming a Town named Tambaroora. One of the Surveyors undertakings was to try and bring some sort of uniformity to the layout of the town from what was at the time a haphazard collection of buildings and roads. These would have included the C of E church and school buildings which had been in existence since 1854. Once his task had been completed notification appeared in the NSW Government Gazette of 1863, for
Lots 1, 2 and 3 of Section 16
for the use of the C of E.
The cemetery had its beginnings as the C of E church graveyard created around the same time as the opening of the C of E church in 1854. No area was officially allocated for a C of E cemetery but most likely it followed the long held tradition of including a church graveyard within the confines of the church perimeter, not long after the church opened interments started to appear. Eventually the graveyard occupied the area within the fence surrounding the church. The fence line shown below in the Plan at left is not indicative of the current fence line. The fence line may not have changed to conform with the surveyed parcel of land until after the C of E relocated their church in 1871 and the graveyard enlarged to accommodate the non denominational interments. The Sketch below at right shows the original position of the Church and fence line in relation to Lot 2 Section 16 which was the surveyed site noted in the 1863 Government Gazette.
The Plan on the left shows the position of the Bark Church and Fence Line before the Sections and Lots were Surveyed(509)
The Sketch on the right shows the design layout of Sections and Lots for the Town and the position of the C of E Church and Fence within what was to become Lot 2 Section 16(510)
Plans courtesy of the State Records NSW
The image below shows Section 16 on the 1859 Town Map and the land occupied by the Church of England, Lot One was allocated to the School, Lot 2 for the Church and Lot 3 for the Parsonage. The school can be seen annotated in Lot 1, the Church on Lot 2 can be seen surrounded by a fence, this was the original position of the Church. This has been confirmed by images of graves located within the vicinity of the Church. The aerial images below show the alignment of the graves prior to 1871-74 when the cemetery was unofficially changed to a General Cemetery and re-aligned to reflect the surveyed boundaries made by Surveyor Price in 1859.
Position of the Bark Church and Fence Line within Lot 2 Section 16 showing the layout of the School on Lot 1 of 2 roods, the Church on Lot 2 of 1 acre and the Parsonage on Lot 3 of 2 roods
Plan Courtesy of the State Records of NSW
Position of the Bark Church and Fence Line showing the change in alignment of the graves after 1871
Reproduced from the 1860 Survey Map overlaid on Google Earth Pro
The image above represents where the original church and graveyard were located in relation to the current cemetery. The largest red box is the outline of Lot 2 Section 16, Lot One was located to the north of Lot Two, Lot Three to the south of Lot Two was gazetted as the Parsonage. The red dashed line box and mimic'd by the solid red line box is the outline of the original fence line. The smaller red box within the fence line is the position of the bark C of E church, this remained the size of the cemetery up until at least 1872-73 when the Holtermann collection images at the top of the page were taken.
An aerial image of the general cemetery with an insert of the position of the original church graveyard in relation to the current cemetery. The alignment of the graves in the church graveyard differs from those of the later period when the graveyard became an all denominational cemetery circa 1874. The alignment of some graves within the earlier C of E graveyard are post 1872-73. This can be seen where the bark church was located, all graves within that area are post dated 1874.
1871 saw the church building re-locate to its new site at Lot 4 and 5 Section 2, the graveyard remained at its present location and eventually took on the roll as the area's unofficial general cemetery circa 1874.
Trustee's were appointed
Joseph James WALPOLE
Thomas Sheridan COOPER
for the C of E portion of the general cemetery, interestingly this coincided with the formation and tabling of the by-laws in parliament of the Hill End Municipal Council who may have assumed responsibility for the cemetery.
The decision to make it the general cemetery must have been a local one as the Bathurst Diocese were not aware of the change nor was there entries in the Government Gazettes to reflect the change from C of E dedicated land to that of a general cemetery. These changes did not take effect until 1951 when the cemetery was officially recognised.
was noted in 1876 as being the Sexton for the church and at the time was living at Lot 1 Section 21 which he had purchased in 1865, the Lot was located on the other side of Steele Street across from the cemetery.
Even though the land had been occupied by the C of E since 1854 it was not granted to the "United Church of England and Ireland" and its Trustee's until 1884 (174) (175) (176)
, the land usage was still noted as being for a school, church and parsonage, the same as for the 1863 NSW Government Gazette, but by then the church had already moved to its new location so in effect the grants were already obsolete when issued.
The first Trustee's documented and appointed for these Grants were:
Joseph James WALPOLE
Herbert James PATEN
(174) (175) (176)
After years of neglect the cemetery received some well deserved tender loving care,
community members rallied
to the task and in 1917 efforts were made to return the cemetery to its former state.
In 1929 a corporate trust from Bathurst undertook to rejuvenate the cemetery, it was not until after this activity that it was realised that the Trust had inadvertently cleaned the wrong cemetery, they had cleaned the Tambaroora general cemetery in the western part of Tambaroora which had been surveyed and dedicated in 1898. When this error had been realised representations were made to religious and political authorities over the cemeteries management and non denominational burials. One of which saw a delegation from Tambaroora and Hill End approach the Bishop of Bathurst regarding the
ongoing management of the Cemetery
, it was at this meeting that it was found that the cemetery was not in fact a dedicated cemetery of any denomination, having never being gazetted for that purpose. The Bishop of Bathurst stated that other denominations would continue to be interred in the cemetery but it was to be understood that the church still had
control of the land
It took another 20 years before any positive steps were made to officially recognise the cemetery. In 1950 a
proposal for the resumption
of the dedication of Lots 1, 2 and 3 Section 16 made in 1863 and the re-dedication as a general cemetery was made in the NSW Government Gazette.
It was not until 1951 when the NSW Government Gazette of that year revoked the 1863 NSW Government Gazette for the lands usage and the land was re-dedicated as a general cemetery.
Trustee's were appointed
for the C of E portion of the General Cemetery in 1952.
Factual information will be added when confirmed