Just around the corner from our temporary accommodation in Parramatta was the St John's Cemetery, which is the oldest pioneer cemetery in Australia, established in 1790. We had a great view of it from our apartment, but on the 25th of January, we decided to go down there and explore it for ourselves.
The cemetery's close proximity to the Parramatta CBD results in an interesting juxtaposition of history and development.
St John's Cemetery is home to the oldest marked European grave still in situ. Henry Dodd was a First Fleeter who died in January, 1971.
The significance of the place was lost on Elijah, who just enjoyed the chance to roam around freely (eating sandwiches).
It was a fascinating insight into the history of the area. Whole families were buried together in the same plots. In the above plaque, which is a copy of the original engraving on the sandstone, three infants were buried with their grandparents. The entire grave is in the photo below.
It was quite a sad experience, but a very rewarding one. And Elijah definitely enjoyed the change to his daily routine.