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Nundah Cemetery

  • 600271
  • 88 Hedley Avenue, Nundah


Also known as
German Station Cemetery
State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
21 October 1992
Burial ground: Cemetery—public
1.4 Peopling places: Family and marking the phases of life
Burley, John Henry
MacDonald, J
Construction periods
1840–1963, Nundah Cemetery (1840s - 1963)
1840–1963, Nundah Cemetery - Cemetery (1840s - 1963)
1855, Nundah Cemetery - Headstone (a) (1855 - 1855)
1914, Nundah Cemetery - Rotunda (1914 - 1914)
unknown, Nundah Cemetery - Gate posts
Historical period
1840s–1860s Mid-19th century


88 Hedley Avenue, Nundah
Brisbane City Council
-27.40751561, 153.06824143


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Criterion AThe place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

Queensland's oldest surviving cemetery and the first to be associated with free settlement in the colony.

Criterion BThe place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland’s cultural heritage.

A unique source of historical information.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

Its aesthetic quality and contribution to the Nundah townscape

Criterion GThe place has a strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

An expression of aspects of the social, religious, economic and artistic life of the local community, and of its attitudes, values and tastes.


The cemetery was established in the 1840s by a small group of German Lutheran missionaries who, in 1838, had founded Queensland's first free settlement, at Zion's Hill above Kedron Brook.

Only one death had been recorded at the German Station by 1845, but several children died the following year, and the cemetery is indicated on an 1846 sketch by missionary Carl Gerler.

Certainly the site had been established as a graveyard before James Warner first surveyed it as a cemetery reserve in 1862. None of the wooden crosses marking the earliest graves has survived, but the oldest headstone dates to March 1855.

Although the German Station mission was wound down between 1844 and 1850, several of the missionary families remained in the area. From amongst these settlers the first trustees of the German Station Cemetery were appointed in 1866. Various trustees administered the cemetery until 1930, when the Brisbane City Council took control.

In 1914 a small shelter pavilion was erected at the cemetery. It was designed by architect John Henry Burley, who practised in Brisbane from 1886 until 1936. The builder was J MacDonald, and the structure cost £175.

In 1963 the cemetery was closed.

A sexton resided in the cemetery grounds from at least the 1890s, but since 1975 one sexton based at Lutwyche has cared for the Bald Hills, Lutwyche and Nundah cemeteries. The Nundah sexton's house has been demolished.

In 1982 the Nundah Historic Cemetery Preservation Association was formed to help tend and restore the site.


The cemetery reserve is located on a small, elliptical ridge above Kedron Brook at Nundah, adjacent to Albert Bishop Park. The entrance has a westerly aspect to Hedley Avenue.

Native trees have been planted recently around the perimeter, but the cemetery itself is exposed and the land subject to erosion. Many of the pathways have been concreted to prevent further deterioration.

The cemetery is crowded, with little order to the layout of graves, and no denominational segregation.

It contains a variety of headstone and decorative memorial monument types, from high Victorian to modern stella. An on-going restoration programme has resulted in many of these being refurbished or replaced, and a number of plaques have been erected on graves of particular historical note.

Toward the front of the reserve, and amidst the gravesites, is an hexagonal rotunda. Constructed of timber posts with arched batten infilling to each facet, the structure is capped by a steeply pitched asbestos tile roof, with terracotta ridging and centre finial. The rotunda was renovated in the 1980s.

The cemetery furnishes a unique record of the families who developed Nundah and surrounding districts from 1838. Included amongst the graves are those of many of the early German missionaries and their families, and that of former Queensland Premier Sir James Dickson (1898-9).

Image gallery


Location of Nundah Cemetery within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 January 2016
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