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Rookwood Tour for National Archaeology Week 2022

May 22 @ 10:30 am - 12:30 pm AEST


Join the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology (ASHA) on a free walking tour of Rookwood Necropolis led by Archaeologist, Dr Siobhan Lavelle OAM, as part of National Archaeology Week 2022.


Rookwood Cemetery, or to use its formal name, the Necropolis (City of the Dead), forms its own suburb occupying almost 3 square kilometres between Strathfield and Lidcombe in Sydney’s inner west. Recognised amongst the largest burial grounds in the world, Rookwood Necropolis is a place of outstanding cultural and environmental heritage significance.

Established in 1867, Rookwood was originally seven separate cemeteries, each with their own Trustees. Most incorporated elaborate ornamental plantations with formal planting along roads and avenues. Over 400 species have been recorded. Rookwood has remained in use through the allocation of additional area, and now comprises some 286 hectares (700 acres).

The use of the site for more than 150 years has produced a diverse layering of monumental types and styles. Monuments range from the elaborate headstones and vaults of the Victorian period to the standardised and simple memorials in the present-day lawn cemeteries. Containing the graves of more than 1 million people, Rookwood displays the humble beside the ostentatious, the austere beside the extravagant. The tour will visit several of the ‘No.1 Cemeteries’ in the oldest area.

Tour Leader

The tour will be led by Dr Siobhan Lavelle OAM. Siobhan has particular interest and expertise in cemetery conservation. Her OAM was awarded in 2009 ‘For service to historical archaeology and heritage conservation, particularly the preservation of colonial roads and cemeteries.’ She also has a National Trust Commendation in 2008 ‘For continuous service and work with the National Trust since 1985 as a staff member and a volunteer member of the Cemeteries Committee.’ Siobhan was a Trustee and Board Member at Rookwood in the 1990s and 2000s, finishing her last term in 2012.

Additional Information

Tickets Please register your attendance via the Eventbrite page here.

Date Sunday 22 May 2022

Time 10:30am-12:30pm

What to bring A picnic lunch, water, sun and rain protection, and good sturdy walking shoes.

Where to meet At the Jewish Martyrs Memorial on Necropolis Circuit (see Map below).

How to get there

1) Drive: You can drive and park in Rookwood. There are signs throughout the cemetery directing you to the Martyrs’ Memorial.

2) Train: You can catch a train to Lidcombe station and walk from the station to the start point. There is a pedestrian gate on East Street, if unlocked, it is a more direct route than the vehicle gate. It might take about 15-20mins to walk from the station.

3) Bus: You can catch a bus (408) from Strathfield Train Station Stand H. It is located on the South side of the station (The Plaza side). Buses leave at 5 to the hour, it should take about 25-30mins to get there. You should reach the closest stop to the memorial, which is for St Michael the Archangel Chapel, on the north side of Necropolis Circuit.

Contact Information

Please contact the ASHA Events Coordinator on [email protected] if you have any questions or if you need to make any changes to your ticket registration(s).


May 22
10:30 am - 12:30 pm AEST
Event Categories:


ASHA Events Coordinator
Siobhan Lavelle


Jewish Holocaust Memorial (Martyrs Memorial)
Jewish Holocaust Memorial (Martyrs Memorial), Necropolis Circuit
Rookwood, NSW 2141 Australia
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