Monthly Archives: August 2011


Heritage conservation in action

The City of Newcastle is steadily progressing with the conservation of headstones in Cathedral Park, Newcastle. Happily for the City, and the descendant community of those interred in the park, the headstones of the city’s 19th century citizens will be conserved, loved, so they can be returned to their known burial location.  This is absolutely a heart project. The City of Newcastle makes no excuses for that.

Stage 1 involves conserving 10 headstones and re-positioning them back to their burial, based on the 1966 burial plan. William Blackledge, of Long Blackledge Architects, along with Council staff Wendy Badger, Mark Wooley and Sarah Cameron, are collaborating to achieve this important project. Justin McCarthy is Council’s historical archaeologist and plays a pivotal role in advising on site sensitivity issues.

The project is being featured in a new documentary hosted by Tony Robinson (of the BBC’s Time Team series) with filming to commence in mid-December 2011.

There’s no bones about it; this is a spiritual love job. Take a headstone – repair it – reunite said headstone with its burial. Reconciliation. In action. Simple. Beautiful.

The ‘beauty’ in conservation, one could say.

The project is being funded through the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, with significant funding from the Council of the City of Newcastle.

The project involves the conservation of the original burial ground, adjacent to Christ Church Cathedral in central Newcastle.

This is such a great project which will transform a forgotten and neglected historic space into a special and unique historic attraction in the centre of the city.

You can link to the story on NBN TV (link below) if you want to see more.