AllHawkesburyLibrary / Museum

Tour around Richmond’s lesser-known historic cemeteries

Hawkesbury Library Richmond Cemetery Tour
Old methodist section at richmond lawn cemetery © photo by m nichols

On Saturday, 18 May 2024, the Hawkesbury Library Service will lead a tour of the lesser-known historic cemeteries in Richmond, reconnecting participants with the region’s heritage.

The Hawkesbury Library shares what to expect in the tour: “Visit two of Richmond’s lesser known, historic cemeteries as part of Heritage Festival.”

“We will journey through time and discover some of the unique stories behind the headstones in the Presbyterian Cemetery plus the old Catholic and Methodist section at the Lawn Cemetery,” The Hawkesbury Library mentioned.

The Saturday tour will begin at Richmond Presbyterian Cemetery, established in the 19th Century at Jersey Street.

See the vault of George Bowman, who funded the construction of St. Andrews Church. He was Richmond Council’s first mayor in 1872 and a Legislative Council representative in the 1850s.

The Cemetery is also the home to the grave of entrepreneur Philip Charley, who made his fortune when he discovered silver and lead at Broken Hill. According to the Library, he built his palatial home at North Richmond, now known as St John of God.

On the other hand, next on the list is the 1890s Richmond Lawn Cemetery at Dight Street, where you can see Richmond’s Parish priest, Father O’Brien (died 1915), and his Celtic cross marker.

In the Methodist section, learn more about the Irish-born Thomas Sullivan: “[W]ho was originally buried at Londonderry but later interred in the cemetery with his son William, a bootmaker and Alderman elected to the first Richmond Council in the 1870s” the Hawkesbury Library mentioned.”

Stories will be shared at the Richmond War Cemetery about the eight Royal Australian Air Force personnel who died when the Lockheed Hudson A16-68 in which they were travelling crashed in Richmond on 20 December 1944.

The activity costs $10 and can be booked online via Eventbrite: Richmond Cemeteries Tour. The Hawkesbury Library tour is part of the annual Australian Heritage Festival, which is run by the National Trust.

The Festival opened in NSW on 18 April 2024 and will conclude on Sunday, 19 May 2024. It features various events and exhibitions about heritage, opportunities to share stories, and witness ceremonies and performances.

This year’s theme is ‘Connections,’ highlighting the diverse nation’s stories and ties and creating new bonds.

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