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This 1868 plan of the proposed new Necropolis at Haslam’s...

This 1868 plan of the proposed new Necropolis at Haslam’s Creek was produced as a lithograph by the Office of the Surveyor General, Sydney, August 1868, drawn by Arthur J. Stopps, late Chief Draughtsman.

The cemetery was built as a multi-denomination memorial park for the growing metropolis and this plan shows the initial locations apportioned for each group as well as the gardens and reception buildings. The local community lobbied for a change of name and in 1879 the Necropolis became known as Rookwood. Covering 268 hectares and 1 million internments, Rookwood is one of the worlds largest working cemeteries from the Victorian Era.

Some famous internees include the poet Kenneth Slessor, suffragette Louisa Lawson and American magician William Henry Davenport of the Davenport Brothers who died during an Australian tour in 1877. Davenport’s grave was famously visited by an admirer Harry Houdini in 1910.