Modern technology to reveal ancient secrets at Ipswich General Cemetery

24 March 2022

Ipswich’s oldest cemetery burials are about to be mapped for the first time through the use of ground penetrating radar.

The innovative use of technology is part of a council project to redesign some of Ipswich General Cemetery that was razed by the Cemetery Trustee in the 1970s.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said unfortunately there are limited records of burials from this time.

“Graves in the historic Ipswich General Cemetery date back to the mid-1840s,” Mayor Harding said.

“Burials in the oldest part of the cemetery were organised into cultural and religious groups including a designated area for First Nations people who we do have some burial records of, from as far back as the 1880s.

“Sadly, many of the headstones have been removed or destroyed when they moved from their original location in the 1970s by cemetery trustees who cleared the site to reduce maintenance costs.

“There are also many unmarked graves and we want to hear from anyone who has any information around who may be buried there.”

The Ipswich General Cemetery Heritage Project will develop a conceptual design for a new area to re-house and integrate the existing memorials into a new landscape as well as to consider new internment opportunities for cremains.

“We want to hear from the community, especially those who are descendants of those who have been buried at the cemetery. We would like your thoughts on possible designs that acknowledge the significance and importance of unmarked graves,” Mayor Harding said.

“The stories of these people and their families are important for us to discover, as they help us piece together the story of early settlement in Ipswich.”

To see the limited information council has on the families identified by headstones that were relocated in the 1970s and to have your say, visit council’s Shape Your Ipswich page at