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1850- 1976

This Page contains:

  1. Menu
  2. Identification details of the Cemetery
  3. Description of the Cemetery. ( Including Placement & Surroundings, Earliest interment, Monumental Styles, Stone Masons, Noteable internments & Present care and state of cemetery).

Layout Plan Also contains a numbered map of grave sites identified during this survey, plus a chronological listing of internments for same.
Notes. History of cemetery, interesting events, people & internments.
Links Useful links for further reading & research..
Endnotes. List of references used in the construction of this site.
Gallery Photographs taken of Cemetery, Headstones & Monuments during this survey.

Identification Details
PROPERTY DESCRIPTION pt Portion 249 Parish of Pitt town
COUNTY Cumberland
ADDRESS Charles Street McGraths Hill, NSW (specifically the corner of High and Charles Streets.
LOCAL GOVT.AREA Hawkesbury City Council
HERITAGE LISTING Local Environmental Plan
GAZETTE DATE 18 Dec 1989
SURVEYED BY C.L.Caswell-Miller


  1. The Wesleyan Cemetery at McGraths Hill occupies a relatively small site perched on the hill looking across McGraths Flats, over a lagoon and horses grazing, to Windsor Town and behind that, the Kurrajong Hills. To the right down on the flats, Tebutts' Observatory built 1863, 6 is visible as is the tall Palm and Norfolk Pines in the Observatory grounds. The historic Australian Hotel which opened in 1895 (p.54)7 is only metres from the cemetery, it's roof visible above the grassy mound on the left boundary of the cemetery. Crows Nest cottage "built by Johnston in 1876" 7(p.54) is directly opposite the old entrance to the cemetery on the opposite corner of High & Charles Streets. Looking north across the cemetery, historic Spring Hill Farm, "purchased from Leban White by Johnston in 1867" 7(p.54) is also visible. Looking directly west across the cemetery, the Wesleyan (now Uniting) Church spire is visible in the distance.
    Graves which all face SE, (except for one, the Rev. Peter Turner, which faces NNW looking toward the Kurrajong Hills) are arranged in clearly defind rows with one main central path down the centre.

  2. Earliest Internment
    The cemetery contains a fairly extensive range of monuments which (so far identified) cover a period from 1850 to 1976. There is an inscription dated 14 June 1849 for Richard Dyer (no.50 on Map) however, three factors indicate that this was not the first internment but that the headstone was erected at a much later date and the inscription for Dyer included as a memorial. Firstly, although this inscription is the first on the headstone preceeding two other inscriptions MILLS John, d. 1898 and MILLS Anna, d. 1905 all three inscriptions appear identical in regard to style and ageing, all three inscriptions are of lead lettering and inset into sandstone and is remarkably well preserved for an 1849 monument, especially when compared to other monuments of sandstone erected within this cemetery during the 1850s. Secondly, the first meeting held by the Wesleyan Burial Ground Trust "for the purpose of considering the priority of purchasing a piece of ground" for internments connected with the Wesleyan Society was not held until 23 July 1850 see 4.1 Notes, some twelve months after Mr. Dyers death. Thirdly at this meeting a Mr. Crew offered to sell a piece of land to the Trust, This piece of land was considered suitable by the meeting and a motion was moved to purchase it. As no mention was made in the minutes of a grave already existing on the land and as yet no direct link between Mr. Crew and the Mills family has emerged and the name Mills appeared on the Trust minutes for the first time as on 13 August 1855, it would support this inscription as being a memorial rather than an internment.

    The inscription for BEVERIDGE Jane Ann d. 27 June 1850, is possibly also a memorial inscription. Again it is dated a full month before the Trustees met to consider the "priority" of purchasing ground. Secondly the inscription for the Father, John appears first yet he died in 1867, seventeen years later followed by the inscription for her mother d. 1887, thirty years later. Alternatively the dates for her birth and death could have been transposed incorrectly, (they are now so worn on the headstone to be indecipherable) and could just as easily be b. 1856 & d. 1870.

    The first internment at this cemetery then, supported by the following evidence appears to be that of, CAVANOUGH Rebecca, d. 25 April 1851 aged 6 days. Mr. Cavanough was listed in the Trust Minutes 24 November 1851 as having paid one pound to the trust, (see 4.3 Notes) (which was six shillings short of the amount set by the trust at their July 1850 meeting for a single grave, head and foot stone) (see 4.2 Notes) one of the first four payments recorded in the minutes, (the others being Alderson, Thomas and Walker).

  3. Monumental Styles
    The monuments in the cemetery include mostly Stelae, such as Semicircular (the most popular), Gothic with acroteria, Semicircular with shoulders, Gabled, Pedimented and Semicircular with rounded shoulders. There is also 1 pedestal, 1 Oblisk on a pedestal, 2 Sculptures, (one with an urn on top and the other with a lamb). There are 3 Altars, some Slab and desks and a few Tablets and Scrolls. Sandstone is the predominant material, there are some marble and few have emblishments. Carvings on the majority are sparse and simple, in keeping with the austerity of the Wesleyan religion.

  4. Stone masons names appearing in this cemetery are:-
    ....Andrews Bros - Sydney
    ....Bell - Windsor
    ....Rosebery, J.
    ....Robertson, G. - Windsor
    ....Hunter C.

  5. Noteable Internments
    ....(I). EVERINGHAM Cologne, First wife of James Everingham the son of Matthew Everingham the First Fleeter. Details 2.1 Notes
    ....(ii). TURNER, the Rev. Peter. The first Wesleyan Minister to Samoa. Details 2.2 Notes
    ....(iii). GALLOWAY John, Windsor businessman. Founding member of the Wesleyan Burial Trust. Thirty nine years of service to the Hawkesbury Benevolent Society and Hospital. Details 2.3 Notes
    ....(iv). LINDSLEY Maj. Windsor Magistrate, Chief layman for Wesleyan Church, active worker in Volunteers and Counci, Ensign, Captain and Major in Hawkesbury Volunteer Rifles (Hawkesbury Infantry). Member of the Water Brigade. Hon. Secretary of the School of Arts Windsor. Mayor of Windsor. One of the first officers of the Gasworks. A Tannery owner. Member of Wesleyan Burial Trust. Details 2.4 Notes
    ....(v). BEARD, William (Jnr), Original members of the Congregational Church Windsor. Trustee and Treasurer of the Hospitals and Benevolent Society. Treasurer of t he School of Arts. First officer and Treasurer of the Gasworks. Trustee of the Wesleyan Burial Ground. Details 2.5 Notes
    ..........As J. Steele mentioned in his book (No.19 endnotes) it is worth noting the number of businessmen interned in this cemetery who were involved with the Tannery trade. It is also worth noting that this cemetery was placed on the grant of Andrew Thompson's Red House Estate on which he operated a Tannery.

  6. Care of the Cemetery at present The cemetery is cared for by the Hawkesbury City Council, who regularly mow the grass. However, there has been quite an extensive amount of ground movement and subsidence which has resulted in many grave slabs splitting down the centre, large holes appearing and exposing the underneath cavity at the sides or back of graves and tilting headstones. Several headstones had fallen onto the ground and because of laying face up and being sandstone have taken the brunt of the weather having water lying on them which has resulted in the inscriptions being totally worn away. The Altar monument of the Robinson's and the Stelae monument of the Soole family have been severely damaged (see No. 21 Gallery) by the roots of a large tree, council has now cut this tree down. There is a rose bush growing between plots 14 & 15, this appears possibly to be a heritage rose.

    This cemetery has very few trees and very meagre fencing. It is on top of a Hill only protected from the weather by a thin line of bushes and totally unprotected from acts of vandalism, yet has managed to survive in relatively good condition. As can be seen from the map however there are large areas missing monumentation. From overlaying the years on the plot map it appears the earlier graves were concentrated on the left hand side of the central path, closest to the central path in the first five rows.

This page was made on 15/1/2000. Last updated 2/2/2000.

Please email.... Chris with comments and corrections.

© Christine Caswell-Miller....