Rothbury Cemetery was originally established as an Anglican Cemetery. It contains inscriptions from as early as 1851 but those remaining from the first several decades of its existence are now small in number. The cemetery is still in use but these days is controlled by the Cessnock City Council.
We are grateful to Jim Fitzgerald for some interesting information on the history of this cemetery. Jim writes, "The land was part of the 'Wilderness' property, established by my great-great-grandfather Joseph Broadbent Holmes in 1842. His house was the venue for church services until 1867. On 12 Aug 1866, at lunch (dinner in those days) after the Sunday service, he offered the then incumbent Alfred Glennie two acres for a churchyard, and fifty pounds towards the cost of a church. St Paul's was duly opened by Bishop Tyrrell (uncle of Edward Tyrrell the pioneer winemaker) on 15 December 1867. The church is now gone, of course, although the timber from it was purchased by Errol Mears and used to build a dairy shed, which still stands."
Ruth King visited Rothbury Cemetery in April 2010 and has contributed the images she made of every visible inscription. She found the site in excellent condition. There is a number of large monuments on family graves to be seen. Several headstones have fallen and some are broken but their general condition for age is reasonable. Amongst the older sandstones, erosion and lichen growth makes their inscription now difficult to decipher.
Ruth's pictures may be viewed from the list of inscriptions for this cemetery. That list was compiled from her images and with reference to the NSW indices of births, deaths and marriages and to the Australian War Memorial online military rolls for additional information.
Rothbury is 9km north of Cessnock via Allandale Road (Wine Country Drive). At Rothbury turn west into Wilderness Road, from where it is 1km to the cemetery lane. The cemetery is 250 from the road and behind a vineyard but the entrance to it is signposted. Lat -32.740752 Long 151.347339
Rothbury Cemetery is administered by the Cessnock City Council. For further information, contact Council at PO Box 152 Cessnock NSW 2325; phone 02 4993 4100; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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