New fencing to preserve historic cemetery


Bourke Shire Council Cemetery Operator Mal Edwards at Fred Hollows Grave. Drought Community Funding was sought to conserve the historic and fragile graves in the background. PHOTO TWH

The Bourke cemetery is the final resting place for much-loved family and community members.

It is also an important cultural and historic site, with links to Bourke’s colourful past. In many ways, it defines the history of the region.

The cemetery has been described as a significant landmark and a fine example of 19th century cemetery design.

It is the largest cemetery in the shire with others at Yantabulla, Enngonia, Louth, Byrock, Fords Bridge, Wanaaring, and Barringun.

In 1999 it was surveyed, and at that time the 6-hectare site contained 5,790 burial sites, divided into the old, historic section and the new section.

Architect and heritage adviser Garry Stanley was commissioned in 2014 to develop a conservation plan to detail the history, geographical context, research potential and value to the community.

One of the recommendations of Mr Stanley’s plan was to control the access of vehicles to the old section, to eliminate erosion and possible damage to monuments.

Council has now secured funding from Round 2 of the Drought Community Fund, for works in the cemetery to conserve the historic and more fragile grave sites.


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