Black and white photograph of gravestones in a cemetery.

Dead Central

  • Past Exhibition

Thousands of people travel through Central Station every day, but how many know what once lay beneath it? Dead Central will take you on a journey back to 19th century Sydney, to rediscover a place you thought you knew.

Exhibition Information

to
Past Exhibition
Free
Exhibition Galleries

1 Shakespeare Place
Sydney NSW 2000
Australia
+61 2 9273 1414

A vast cemetery once sprawled across the land bound by Sydney’s Elizabeth, Pitt and Devonshire streets — where Central Station now stands. The Devonshire Street cemetery opened in 1820, but the city’s major burial ground filled up quickly in the decades following, only to become overgrown and abandoned. In January 1901, when the state government announced its intention to clear the cemetery, well over 30,000 bodies were buried there.

Thousands of people travel through Central Station every day, but how many know what once lay beneath it? Dead Central will take you on a journey back to 19th century Sydney, to rediscover a place you thought you knew.

This haunting story is told through a 35-minute audio recording using your own device.

We recommend that you bring your own headphones for the best sound experience.

/old-cemetery-devonshire-street
/sand-hills-burying-grounds-sydney-illustration-scheme-no1
/george-bond-john-cadman-maria-ann-carrod-william-carrod-eleanor-cork
/samuel-and-easter-esther-bradley-mary-martin
/devonshire-street-cemetery-labourers-preparing-ground-central-railway-station
/central-railway-station-railway-square-sydney

 

ABC Radio Sydney logo.

 

Hear curator Elise Edmonds in conversation with Cassie McCullagh, ABC Radio Sydney

 

 

Photograph of cemetery overlaid with text  Burial files

the Burial Files Podcast 

Thousands of people travel through Sydney's Central Station every day, but how many know what once lay beneath it? Get ready to embark on a journey back to 19th century Sydney, to rediscover a place you thought you knew.

Episode 1: Hidden History

Human remains were recently discovered at Central Station. How long have they been there? 

Listen on:

 iTunes Google Podcasts Soundcloud Visit the podcast website

 

Meet the curator

Photographic portrait of a smiling blonde woman wearing a white jacket.

Elise Edmonds

Elise is a senior curator at the State Library of New South Wales. With a background in Australian history and Museum Studies, Elise has worked with the Library’s maps, pictures and manuscript collections; acquiring, writing and promoting these to a variety of audiences. In 2009 she received a staff fellowship to research and scope the Library’s First World War collections. This led to curating several exhibitions highlighting the Library’s nationally significant First World War collections; Life Interrupted: personal diaries from World War I in 2014 and Colour in Darkness: images from the First World War in 2016.