Boroondara General Cemetery, was established in 1858 on a 12.5 hectare site bounded by High Street, Parkhill Road and Victoria Park, Kew. Since then there have been more than 80,000 burials at the cemetery.
Boroondara Cemetery has been described by the Heritage Council of Victoria as “an outstanding example of the Victorian Garden Cemetery movement”. With its curving paths, park-like setting, and rotunda the cemetery contains significant heritage buildings recognised by the Victorian Heritage Council and the National Trust. Foremost among them are the Springthorpe Memorial ( once described as “unquestionably the finest thing in the Southern Hemisphere”), the Syme Memorial and the Cussen Memorial.
The overall design of the cemetery was drawn up by Frederick Acheson when he surveyed the land in 1859. In 1864 Albert Purchas joined the Trust and was to oversee the layout, design and ornamentation of the cemetery for the next 45 years. The layout features mature plantings, extensive rose gardens and many rare specimens of trees.
Buried within the cemetery’s grounds are many of Melbourne’s leading historical figures, such as artist Louis Buvelot, publisher David Syme, artist and diarist Georgiana McCrae, High Court judge Sir Owen Dixon, Victoria’s first police woman Madge Connor, and businessman John Wren.
The most recent architectural additions to the cemetery are the garden crypts, designed by prominent Melbourne architects, McIntyre Partnership, and constructed in 2001 from the very best of local materials.
Garden crypts are available for above ground burial, and there are still many options available for the interment of cremated remains in the Peace Haven Mausoleum, the lawn or the rose and azalea gardens.
A Not For Profit Cemetery
Boroondara General Cemetery is a public “not for profit” entity. Although our Board (Trust) is appointed by government, we do not receive funding or services provided by government. Revenue received from funeral services and the sales of graves and niches is used for the staffing and maintenance of the cemetery. We are grateful to the many community volunteers who assist us.
The cemetery is managed by a Trust appointed by the Governor in Council for five year terms. The eight current Trust members come from all walks of life and backgrounds, and offer their services to the cemetery as volunteers.