The headstones displayed at this memorial site once stood over the graves of the pioneers of the Mudgee district including some of the earliest white settlers in this area. The display consists of memorial walls of headstones that were relocated from three early cemeteries in Mudgee when they were turned into parks in the late 1960s. They were a Church of England (Anglican) cemetery a couple of blocks away, a Roman Catholic cemetery that was on the site of the present Memorial Park and a Presbyterian/Methodist cemetery adjoining it. The Blackman Family memorial in the old Anglican cemetery was retained in situ in what is now called Blackman Park. The inscriptions on that monument are included in this list.
The Council says that, "at the time of their conversion to rest parks, the cemeteries had not been used for more than 80 years, and therefore many headstones were either missing, destroyed, or unsuitable for preservation." Many of the stones that were relocated are now very weathered and difficult to decipher. However, by enlarging high-resolution digital images, with reference to Local Government and historical records, and extensive search of the NSW Index of Deaths 1788-1888, we feel that a very satisfactory result has been achieved.
Several of the interpretive plaques erected by the Council were found to be in error and need to be replaced. One of the stones from the Catholic Cemetery (Fr James Dunphy) was found in the the grounds of St Mary's Church in Mudgee and two from the Anglican Cemetery (Archdeacon James and his son Theophilus Gunther) in the grounds of St John's Church in Mudgee: all three have been included in this record.
The images above show the two parks as they are today with salvaged stones from all three locations now mounted in Memorial Park. The final picture, kindly supplied by the Mudgee Historical Society, shows the old Anglican (or West End) Cemetery circa 1960, probably not long before it was converted to a park.
The list of inscriptions has been augmented with the records kept by the Anglican Church of St John the Baptist, Mudgee, of funerals conducted prior to 1856. Although most of the burials would have taken place in the first Anglican Cemetery in Mudgee, some no doubt occurred on private properties or in cemeteries in nearby villages. However, we believe that this is a most suitable place to record all the names and whatever details are available of those early burials in and around Mudgee.
We originally compiled this list during June/July 2002 and updated it in April 2004 in the light of further information then to hand. As further data becomes available it is being added.
Memorial Park is in Douro Street, which runs south off Market Street. The memorial is on the western side of the road opposite Robertson Park. Blackman Park is in Park Street, bounded on the north by Mortimer Street and on the south by Gladstone Street.