DPS-SYDNEY-L ArchivesArchiver > DPS-SYDNEY > 2012-04 > 1333921086
From: "The Warwicks" <>
Subject: [DPS-SYDNEY] St John's Cemetery, Parramatta
Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2012 07:38:06 +1000
Dear List Members,
My apologies if this is not the usual type of appeal on this site but, as many of you may have ancestors buried in the above cemetery, I thought I would bring to your attention some concerns we have about its current condition and hope that you might help in trying to get some action taken before it is too late.
I have some recent photos showing its condition if anyone would like to contact me for copies and add that I called in there on Easter Sunday morning (the gates were actually open!) and was absolutely appalled at what I saw. In fact I wasn't game enough to walk in there, not knowing what might be in the grass etc.
I don't believe any cemetery in Sydney would be in as bad a condition as this cemetery is - and it is a cemetery of such great importance !!!!!!!!!
I also have a document downloaded from the St John's Anglican Cathedral's own website outlining its historical significance if you would like a copy - or go to their website yourselves, but I found it not particularly user friendly if trying to find information about the cemetery.
This cemetery is a State Listed Heritage Item and has quite a number of First Fleeters buried there as well as many other significant people from our colony's early days.
I'm sure there would be many descendents of those buried in the cemetery who would be shocked to see what condition their ancestor's final resting place is in.
We believe it is absolutely disgraceful that the cemetery has been left to fall into its current condition
We have been in touch by phone with the Anglican Church Property Trust and will be sending them an email and photos as a follow-up for their further information.
Some of the concerns that have been raised are:
a.. The encroachment of lantana and blackberry.
b.. Grass waist high, prone to attract vermin.
c.. The cemetery is full of very high "farmers friends" or "cobblers pegs" which will lead to the spread of woody weeds.
d.. Wall in a precarious state due to missing bricks. They are not in the grass below wall so have they been stolen?
e.. The wall is breached in three places
f.. A garden bed of lilies put in a year ago keeps dampness against the soft bricks on the north wall (nearest Argyle St)
g.. The weep holes on the O'Connell St frontage have been blocked by rows of bricks placed against them
h.. The gate is full of dry rot and the cross bar at waist height is cracked in two
i.. There has been no interpretive information for the last 5 years. Always used to be a map of important graves there
j.. Heavy creeper covering the west wall. Likely to damage the soft convict bricks
k.. No access for historians/family historians or the general public
l.. A family of wild cats living under one headstone (at least they may eat the vermin!
We would like to hope that you or your local society might also like to write or email any or all of the following to express your concerns:
Mr Scott Lincoln
Northern & Western Region
Anglican Church Property Trust
Ph. 9265 1633
St. John's Cemetery
c/- St Johns Anglican Catheral
ph. 9891 0700
The NSW Heritage Office
ph. 9873 8500
Parramatta City Council : Councillors and General Manager
State Member for Parramatta : Geoff Lee
Federal Member for Parramatta : Julie Owens
Local and or city newspapers
Or anyone else you can think of!
Please help to try and save this cemetery before it is too late.