Rookwood Cemetery, in Sydney’s west, is Australia’s oldest and most multicultural working cemetery as well as the largest necropolis in the Southern Hemisphere. Many of the Victorian era features are protected by a Permanent Conservation Order covering 81 hectares of Rookwood.
One of the world’s last surviving Victorian Cemeteries, Rookwood caters for over 89 different religious and cultural groups – it is a true reflection of the diversity and heritage of western Sydney and beyond.
Each year, Rookwood Cemetery hosts an Open Day, welcoming visitors to connect with its heritage, culture, art and community value. In 2014, the event will be on Sunday 14 September, 10am to 3pm.
A range of activities are in store including historic tours, family history and heritage services, crematorium and mausoleum tours, demonstrations of grave digging and embalming, an international food fair, Devonshire teas, Rookwood Rise and BBQ breakfast, and much more!
One of Inside History‘s favourite Rookwood Cemetery events is HIDDEN: Rookwood Cemetery Sculpture Walk, which will be held on 14 September to 12 October this year. Click here for details on how to get to Rookwood.
The sixth annual outdoor sculpture exhibition is a unique combination of art and heritage, addressing themes such as culture, love and remembrance. The sculpture walk is launched on the Rookwood Open Day a Village Green, between 1-3pm, but the exhibition is open 7 days a week, to sunrise to sunset.
Rookwood Necropolis (or Cemetery) is located on the western boundary of Strathfield Municipality. Rookwood is important to the people of Strathfield as it is the final resting place of many local residents, their families and ancestors. The word ‘Necropolis’ is of Greek origin meaning City of the Dead. Since its opening in 1867, there have been more than 800,000 interments at Rookwood. Rookwood is located on Crown Land and is under the jurisdiction of the NSW Department of Lands. The suburb of Lidcombe was formerly known as Rookwood, however a new name for the suburb was adopted to avoid confusion with the cemetery. The name Lidcombe was adopted in 1913, adapted from the names of two mayors, Lidbury and Larcombe.
Other useful links:
Anglican and General Deceased Search online – click here
Rookwood Necropolis | Billion Graves – click here
Rookwood Cemetery data online | Society of Australia Genealogists – click here