Castlemaine Cemetery

Stroll through a goldfields cemetery for a rare glimpse of the days of the Chinese diggings, and a chance to discover other voices from the past.

Access:    by car (it is in Campbells Creek) Period:    1850s to the present
Time:    Allow 20-30 minutes there Stories:    People; hard times

Burials at Castlemaine Cemetery (which is actually at Campbells Creek) date back to 1853.

Castlemaine's first official cemetery had been established in 1852 in Templeton Street, which would later become the centre of the town. It was closed in 1856, and legend has it that a scandal resulted when bodies were removed from the old cemetery to the new with something like indecent haste. Corpse-laden carts fairly raced one another along the road to Campbells Creek, one of them capsizing on the way!

The cemetery has some traditional evergreen plantings, including pines and arbutus trees, and the quaint Sexton's office stands near the gate.

Castlemaine Cemetery's Chinese section features a large number of gravestones and a Funerary Tower, where offerings were burnt for the benefit of the departed.

On the road between Campbells Creek and Castlemaine, you pass by an old toll gate, built in 1858 to help fund the improvement of roads at the Diggings. Not surprisingly, new tracks were created elsewhere to bypass it. See if you can spot the toll gatehouse among the many historic buildings along this road.

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