Council is re-designing and beautifying the oldest section of the Ipswich General Cemetery. This area was cleared in the 1970s by the Cemetery Trustees. Headstones were moved and some were destroyed during this clean-up. This project will re-locate the headstones that remain and acknowledge the legacy of those buried in the area, but not identified.

Council thanks all who connected with us about their descendants known to be buried in this section - early European settlers and First Nations People - to ensure they are acknowledged respectfully. The stories of these people and families are important for us to discover in piecing together Ipswich’s history.

Many thanks to the Ipswich Genealogical Society, and Picture Ipswich for providing information and images for this project.

Following feedback from the community the Concept Cemetery Design and the Healing Gardens Concept Design have been finalised and can be viewed below.

Finalised Concept Cemetery Design

Following feedback from those with descendants in this area of the cemetery, a concept design was approved by Council in November 2022.

The memorial garden concept includes an interpretive reflection of the original mapping of the area creating a reconnection for the headstones to the area.

The design will:

  • not cause any further adverse impact
  • improve conservation of the headstones
  • provide an area to pay respect to graves in the section

Finalised Memorial Gardens Concept Design

Finalised Memorial Gardens Concept Design

Project History

Ipswich General Cemetery was the first cemetery in Ipswich, dating back to the mid 1840s. The north eastern area of the cemetery contains the earliest graves and the original cemetery reserve lies in this vicinity. Burials in this area were organised into cultural and religious groups, including the First Nations people of this region. Unfortunately. there are limited records of the burials at this time. Many headstones were destroyed or moved in a cemetery clean up by the cemetery trustees in the 1970s.

This project aim is to re-design the north-eastern section of the cemetery in a way that beautifies the area, respectfully acknowledges those laid to rest on this site.The intent is to not disturb the actual burial sites, but work in the spaces known to exist between rows.

The stories of these people and families are important for us to discover, as they help us piece together the cultural history of Ipswich. Council is now working with an external consultancy team to develop a conceptual design for the area (outlined below in red) that will re-house and integrate the existing memorials into a new landscape and also consider providing new inurnment opportunities for cremated remains.

We would like to connect with the descendants of anyone known to be buried in this section, to ensure that your ancestors are acknowledged respectfully.

Early surveys of Ipswich General Cemetery

These images show the location of the cemetery over time

Talking with descendants

By connecting with descendants we could gather information of ancestors buried at the site. This helped in developing two concept designs, a Memorial Garden and a Heritage Memorial. These designs were then reviewed by this group and the Memorial Garden design was selected as the preferred design for the cemetery.

View the designs and feedback here.

Design principles included as a result of your feedback

Photos and stories you shared