Dunedin Southern Cemetery

The Southern Cemetery in the New Zealand city of Dunedin was the first major cemetery to be opened in the city. The cemetery was opened in 1858, ten years after the founding of the city in an area known as Little Paisley.[1] This area lies at the southern end of Princes Street, one of the city's main streets, close to the suburbs of Kensington, Maryhill, and The Glen (part of Caversham).

Dunedin Southern Cemetery
William Cargill gravestone.jpg
William Cargill's gravestone in Dunedin Southern Cemetery.
CountryNew Zealand
Owned byCity of Dunedin
No. of graves>23,000
WebsiteOfficial website
Find a GraveDunedin Southern Cemetery
Official nameSouthern Cemetery
Designated30 June 2006
Reference no.7657



The cemetery covers an area of some 5.7 hectares (14 acres), and is one of the most important nineteenth-century cemeteries in New Zealand. It is sited on a steeply sloping site on a spur at the southern end of the central city, overlooking "The Flat", the area of coastal plain on which the suburbs of South Dunedin and Saint Kilda are located. It is divided into separate sections set aside for Presbyterians, Anglicans, and Roman catholics, as well as a Jewish section. The cemetery was opened in early 1858, with the earliest recorded interment being that of John MacGibbon in March 1858.[2]

Dunedin Southern Cemetery in the 1860s

In all, some 23,000 burials were recorded at the Southern Cemetery. Much of the cemetery is in a poor state of maintenance, though there are plans to repair some of its more damaged areas. There are 21 graves of service personnel registered and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, 20 from World War I and one from World War II.[3] The cemetery is listed on the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Register as a Historic Place – Category I.[4]

The cemetery includes, at its city end, a historic mortuary building, which was used from 1903 to 1949.[2]

The cemetery's Jewish and Chinese sections are of particular historical importance.

The Northern Cemetery, at the other end of the city's main urban area, was opened in 1872. Neither of these cemeteries are still used for new burials (the last burials at the Southern Cemetery were in 1985); as of 2009 Dunedin's main cemetery is at Andersons Bay in the south of the city.

Jewish section

The Jewish portion of the cemetery is located close to South Road in the lower part of the cemetery, and contains around 180 burials, with the earliest being from 1863.[5] A large proportion of New Zealand's early Jewish immigrants are buried in the cemetery's Jewish section,[6] with members of many of New Zealand's more notable Jewish families – including the Hallensteins, Theomins, Joels, and De Beers – among those interred.

Chinese section

The 1860s saw a major influx of people into the city due to the Central Otago Gold Rush, including a large number of Chinese from Guangdong; a separate Chinese section to the cemetery was added in the years that followed.[7] The section was designated separate not on ethnic grounds, but due to religious affiliation, as with the other sections of the cemetery, and has some features which are built according to feng shui practice.[8]

Up to 200 Chinese burials are thought to have taken place between 1877 and 1921, of which 114 have been identified, with the majority of those interred having originally come from around the Pearl River Delta. Other interments, including several from the Panyu District, were exhumed in the 1880s and early 1900s at the behest of the Poon Fah Association, in order to return the dead to their ancestral soil in China.[8]

Notable interments


  1. ^ Herd, J., and Griffiths, G., (1980) Discovering Dunedin. Dunedin; John McIndoe. pp. 112–113.
  2. ^ a b "Background notes for the Southern Cemetery ",, retrieved 30 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Cemetery Details" . Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Southern Cemetery" . Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  5. ^ Bruell, C., "International Jewish Cemetery Project – Dunedin ," International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, 24 July 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  6. ^ [1] Archived 17 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Morris, Chris (15 April 2009). "Trust impressed by restoration of Chinese graves" . Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  8. ^ a b From a notice at the Dunedin Southern Cemetery
  9. ^ "Cemetery Details" . Dunedin City Council. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Lubecki" (PDF). Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust of New Zealand. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2021.

Further reading

External links


Information as of: 11.08.2021 05:27:03 CEST

Source: Wikipedia (Authors [History])    License of the text: CC-BY-SA-3.0. Creators and licenses of the individual images and media can either be found in the caption or can be displayed by clicking on the image.

Changes: Design elements were rewritten. Wikipedia specific links (like "Redlink", "Edit-Links"), maps, niavgation boxes were removed. Also some templates. Icons have been replaced by other icons or removed. External links have received an additional icon.

Please note: Because the given content is automatically taken from Wikipedia at the given point of time, a manual verification was and is not possible. Therefore does not guarantee the accuracy and actuality of the acquired content. If there is an Information which is wrong at the moment or has an inaccurate display please feel free to contact us: email.
See also: Legal Notice & Privacy policy.