De Salis Cuppacumbalong Homestead
off Naas Rd
This existing cemetery is the second one associated with the Cuppacumbalong property on the Murrumbidgee River.
The first cemetery was active 1859-1870 and contained three burials which were swept away in a flood in 1870.
The owners, the de Salis family, selected a new cemetery site free from flood danger in 1876 on a stony ridge overlooking the confluence of Spring Station Creek, the Gudgenby River and Murrumbidgee River just south of the homestead. However, the site was set on granite and was very difficult to dig to a required burial depth.
To overcome the site problems, a raised cemetery was created in 1878. This consisted of a large oval dry-stone wall enclosing a raised terrace of soft fresh earth. Late in the 19th century a further stone wall was erected to enclose the de Salis family portion with a style for access.
Workers and their families are located on the eastern side of the cemetery while the de Salis family plot is at the south-west end of the site.
The site was damaged by floods in 2010 and heritage repairs undertaken.
There are 19 confirmed recorded burials in the second cemetery site 1876-1903, marked by four headstones and an obelisk. There is site interpretation as part of the ACT Government’s heritage Canberra Tracks program.
Rural graves in the ACT – a historical context and interpretation by Anne Claoué-Long, 2006 (p.21-22)
Background information Tharwa Village Precinct (ACT Heritage Council, November 2017) (p.11)
The cemetery is abouth 1.5km south of the Tharwa Bridge and 600m from the Cuppacumbalong homestead on a raised area overlooking the confluence of Spring Station Creek, Gudgenby River and Murrumbidgee River in the Gigerline Nature Reserve.
A walking track from the western side of the Tharwa bridge at the Tharwa Bridge Recreation Area leads south along the Murrumbidge River through the Gigerline Nature Reserve and thence on to the cemetery.
Alternatively, pedestrian access a little closer to the cemetery is also possible from the public car park at the Cuppacumbalong Homestead. A path from the homestead joins the Gigerline Nature Reserve path mentioned above.
The cemetery is heritage listed and maintained by the ACT Government.
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