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HISTORY


The South Brisbane Cemetery has had many ups and downs since it opened back in 1870, from the proud early years as a grand municipal cemetery during the 19th century to its sad decline during the later part of the 20th century. At one point it even seemed that the cemetery would be allowed to fade away forever to make way for open space.

It has, however, survived as a heritage-listed site that is now attracting renewed interest from the public and researchers alike.

The following pages cover different aspects of the history of this wonderful place. Please take the time to explore them and discover why South Brisbane Cemetery is now regarded as an important heritage icon and touchstone to our past.

General History of South Brisbane Cemetery
A look at the overall history of the South Brisbane Cemetery over the decades since the 1860s.

Early Southside Burial Grounds
Learn about some of the earlier burial grounds in southern Brisbane, including the one underneath what is now a primary school.

What is the Real Name of the Cemetery?
What is the correct name for this cemetery - South Brisbane or Dutton Park? There has been some confusion on this matter over the years.

Religious Segregation in Cemeteries
Why are some 19th-century Brisbane cemeteries segregated into different religious sections, while others are not? Read about changing attitudes to segregation here.

The Undertakers
Read about some of the historical companies involved in providing funerals at South Brisbane Cemetery.

Changing Funerary Practices
Read about how interment practices changed over time at South Brisbane Cemetery, with the shift from burial to cremation.

The Bubonic Plague and South Brisbane Cemetery
Learn about the early-1900s connection between the Bubonic Plague and South Brisbane Cemetery.
The 'New Cemetery' of 1904
Learn why the South Brisbane Cemetery was extended to take in new land on its eastern boundary back in 1904.

The 1930s ‘Unemployment Relief Fund’ Work
Some of the infrastructure in the South Brisbane Cemetery today dates back to a work scheme for unemployed workers during the Great Depression.

Keeping the Grass Short
Learn how the grass has been short at South Brisbane Cemetery at different times in history.

Watery Graves: Floods at the Cemetery
Read about how historic floods affected the South Brisbane Cemetery in the years 1893, 1974 and 2011.

Near-Death: The Cemetery in the 1970s
Learn about the 1970s 'beautification scheme' plans to gradually remove the headstones and transform the area into a lawn cemetery.

Why is the Cemetery Heritage-Listed?
Find out the reasons why the South Brisbane Cemetery is listed in the Queensland Heritage Register.

'Honouring and Remembering' vs Ghosts
Why is it important to focus on real history at a place like the South Brisbane Cemetery?

The Future of the Cemetery
After the ups and downs of the past, what does the 21st century have in store for the historic South Brisbane Cemetery?