Devonport City Council is seeking community input on management priorities of the historically significant Congregational Cemetery at Don.
Considered to be one of the oldest congregational cemeteriesin Tasmania, there are more than 700 known recorded burials and several unmarked sites, with the first recorded burial on 17 October 1865 of Elizabeth June and Jane Hodgkiss.
Devonport Mayor, Councillor Annette Rockliff said community input will help guide the development of a 10-year master plan for the Tasmania Heritage listed site.
Mayor Rockliff said many of the original pioneers of the City of Devonport and its surrounding district are buried at the cemetery.
“The cemetery occupies one acre of land, granted by James Fenton in 1864 and contains many headstones and graves of local significance,” Mayor Rockliff said.
“For example, members of the Henry family, including John Henry CMG, member of Parliament, member of the Australian Federal Convention which framed the Australian Constitution; Henry Carter, a prominent Devonport pioneer and landowner; Senator Alexander Lillico; and Stephen Priest, a prolific builder, in Devonport’s early history.
“Council understands the importance of the cemetery as a place providing the community with a connection to our history, culture and society.
“I encourage cemetery visitors and interested community members to complete our short three-minute survey to help Council plan for the best way to preserve the heritage values of the site while addressingthe practical day-to-day needs of visitors.”
The Congregational Cemetery survey closes at 9 a.m. on Monday, 1 March 2021and can be completed online through Speak Up Devonport via Council’s website.
Historic and heritage value
The Congregational Cemetery/Don Cemetery is a small burial ground, with the older headstones dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The cemetery is one of the oldest in Tasmania. At rest in this historical patch of ground are many of the Don pioneers – many of whom were the original pioneers of the City of Devonport and its surrounding district. The cemetery occupies one acre of land, granted by James Fenton in 1864 and contains many headstones and graves of local significance, for example members of the Henry family including John Henry CMG – member of Parliament and member of the Australian Federal Convention which framed the Australian Constitution. Henry Carter, a prominent Devonport pioneer and land owner; Senator Alexander Lillico; Stephen Priest, a prolific builder in Devonport’s early history are also buried at the site.