The first registered burial was that of Ellen Mowbray Murphy on February 1st 1858 age 3 ½ years old. This remembrance park has also been known as the Back Creek and Sandhurst Cemeteries (not to be confused with the Sandhurst Burial ground in Bridge Street).
The Gothic designed Mortuary Chapel and the former Sextons residence are two important features at this remembrance park. An unusual feature is the monument erected in memory of explorers, Burke and Wills.
The Bendigo dates from the 1850’s and from that time it was a site destined to display features of historic cultural and social interest.
Four such features are:
The Mortuary Chapel was constructed in 1873, this very picturesque building is the major feature confronting those who enter from the main gates in Carpenter Street. Constructed of granite quarried at Harcourt it is flanked by one Southern Magnolia.
A timber steeple crowns the building and the portico features a doorway with concentric arches and collarets, and a cloverleaf finial.
The building has a number of fine stained glass windows which have been recently resinated. Plans are now afoot to restore the building courtesy of a Living Heritage Grant, courtesy of the Victorian Government.
The Burke and Wills Monument which can be seen off the right of the Chapel was erected by the people of Bendigo. The fate of the team it honours is well known. It appears to have had a paint finish but clearly a sandstone column. The foundation was laid in 1862 and more than 5000 people were in attendance. History indicates that objects of the time were buried at the site.
The Bendigo Remembrance Park is the largest of the cemeteries managed by RPCV, covering approximately 16.2 hectares (40 acres). It has extensive lawn and monumental burial areas and offers a range of memorial options including traditional monuments, lawn grave plaques, rose gardens and niche walls for the interment of cremated remains.
The monumental section of the cemetery has been “Heritage Listed” by Heritage Victoria and contains a number of important and notable memorials, many of which date from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Also located at this site is the Volunteer Centre which operates out of the Sexton's Residence. This houses RPCV volunteers who can assist with historical cemetery related queries and well as help with ancestral/genealogy queries in regard any persons that have been interred in a Remembrance Park.
The Volunteer Centre is open during the following hours:
- Wednesday 11am - 3pm
- Saturday 11am - 3pm (only on the first full weekend of the month)
- Sunday 11am - 3pm (only on the first full weekend of the month)
Volunteer members at Bendigo Remembrance Park are contactable within these hours on (03) 5446 1566 ext 214.