A brief history…

With the increasing population south of the Yarra River, land was reserved in 1853 for two general cemeteries. One of 29 acres (12 ha), located north of Henry Dendy’s Special Survey in Caulfield, became known as the Brighton General Cemetery. In May 1854, a public meeting was held to elect trustees, and after their gazettal in late December, a £400 grant was issued. From the first recorded interment in October 1855 of 10-month-old Johanna Wallace Manson, until just after the turn of the 20th century, the Trust faced financial hardship. Not until after the discontinuance of St Kilda Cemetery (1901) and the opening of Springvale Necropolis (1902) did Brighton enter a prosperous era. The 1920s saw an average of 1350 burials a year and a number of major projects undertaken including the boundary wall, office, and the development of the unused areas surrounding The Lodge. Although Melbourne’s financially strongest cemetery for many years, Brighton missed opportunities to construct a crematorium and to open a new cemetery; however, the Trust successfully introduced the non-denominational lawn sections in 1958, consistent with the cemetery’s aesthetic appearance. Brighton General Cemetery is a Victorian garden cemetery of heritage significance and contains monuments to many prominent Melburnians including politician Sir Thomas Bent, landscape gardener William Guilfoyle, soldier and engineer Sir John Monash, criminal ‘Squizzy’ Taylor, architect Charles Webb, authors Rolf Boldrewood, Ada Cambridge and Adam Lindsay Gordon, and artists Frederick McCubbin, Arthur Boyd, Albert Tucker and John Perceval.

[From eMelbourne on-line originally published in Encyclopedia of Melbourne (2005) and written by the author of this website.]