Cemetery 85 - Sofala

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Sofala

Bathurst Road,

Sofala

NSW

2795

-33.086758

149.689178

This historic cemetery is believed to date from soon after the arrival of the first gold seekers in 1855. The earliest inscription we found was dated 1869 but there are obviously many unmarked graves. Several of the marble monuments are excellent examples of stonemasonry. The site is fenced to exclude stock but there are no portion or row markers or amenities.

Unfortunately, the site appeared to receive little maintenance and plastic shopping bags and other material wind-blown from the adjacent tip did nothing to enhance its appeal. The amount of timber that has been allowed to grow up in the grounds represents a peril to some of the graves, especially the older ones. On the occasion of our visit, a large tree that had come down damaging one of the early monuments was still lying where it had fallen. It is to be hoped that the transfer of administration from the former Evans Shire Council to Bathurst City Council in 2005 will signal an improvement in the standard of maintenance of the district's historic cemeteries.

This list was compiled from digital images and notes that Jean and I made of every visible inscription on 7 May 2004. We also consulted the NSW index of births, deaths and marriages to help determine difficult to read names and dates and for additional information.

Sofala, the oldest remaining gold town in NSW, lies in the Turon Valley between Ilford and Bathurst. From the junction of the Bathurst-Ilford Road and the Hill End Road, head uphill towards Bathurst for 800 metres and turn right at the signpost to the garbage tip. The cemetery is seen on the left hand side not far from that intersection.

Sofala General Cemetery is administered by the Bathurst Regional Council. For further information, contact Council at PMB 17, Bathurst NSW 2795; phone 02 6333 6111; email: council@bathurst.nsw.gov.au

9 May 2011

7 May 2004

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