Yesterday, in the heat of the late afternoon, I went to visit the Heidelberg Cemetery. It is quite an old cemetery and some information I found on the internet says that the first recorded burial was in 1858. It does go on to say that they believe the first burial was around 1853. I saw some very old graves, but the oldest I found was 1859.
It is a strange cemetery. The old is mixed in with the new. There isn’t an old section and a new section. I don’t know how it has been worked out. Wherever you go it is all sorts of different graves.
It was strange also, that some very old graves had brand new headstones. I am not a fan of the new ones. I love how the really old ones look. I wish you could still always read them, but I suppose if no one is around to look after them then they will deteriorate.
This is in the first line we walked down. I loved the china flowers on the grave. It appears that no one has tended the site for some time, but the lovely china wreath will always be in bloom and will always add colour to the spot.
This is one of those ones that has people who died a long time ago, but the headstone is fairly new. It must have been done by the family. One of things with this image is the view behind it, you see how high up on the hill it actually is.
This plot, marked only with a steel peg and the number 22. No clue as to who is buried here, just the peg. It is sad that someone has died and the only thing to represent them is the steel peg with 22 on it.
Walking around the cemetery is a humbling experience. We know how life was for the pioneers of Australia. It was hard, it was hot. We read about their lives and their struggles, but there is nothing like actually seeing their graves and what is written on them. It brings reality. The young age they died, how many children are buried there. We think about how sad it is for us when children died, yet back then, it was almost common. I find it so gut wrenching when you see the graves with four or five children who all died before they were 12 months old.
Heidelberg Cemetery sits on hill, the same hill that the Austin Hospital sits on. Handy having a cemetery next to a hospital for the incurables. Though, one thing that surprised me about the place is the way the people were buried. I always thought graves were place East to West, is it, feet facing east so the person who see the sun coming up, or is the other way around? At this one, they face South. I wonder if it is has something to do with the hill. It is quite a steep one.
It is a strange thing to do, but not a mad thing, to go and look around a cemetery. I know Melbourne Cemetery in Carlton/Parkville is huge and has so much history there. It also offers night tours, that would be fun.
The images have all been processed with Camera Raw and then put through Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2. I have used different presets and tried different things on each one, so they would all be different.