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Women’s League Tour of Rookwood Catholic Cemetery

By May 24, 2024No Comments
Women’s League Tour of Rookwood Catholic Cemetery

Catholic Cemeteries + Crematoria were delighted to welcome the members of the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) from St Ambrose in Concord West for a visit and tour of the cemetery.

Our Cemetery Manager, Mark Hamilton accompanied the ten attendees from the CWL who visited famous landmarks and memorial sites at Rookwood Catholic Cemetery such as:

  • St Michael of the Archangel Chapel – constructed circa 1886-90
  • Toohey family vault
  • Mortuary station 1
  • Graves in the Sisters’ of Charity lawn and the Priests’ lawn
  • Sacred Heart Chapel – constructed circa 1928
  • Mortuary station 3
  • Devonshire St monumentation
  • Serpentine Canal
  • Mortuary station 4 (St Joachim’s Circle)

The group enjoyed the tour and loved learning more about the rich Catholic history of Rookwood, that dates back to when the first burial in the Catholic section was held for Catherine McMullen of Castlereagh Street, Sydney on the 7 January 1867.

The Chapel of St. Michael the Archangel was designed in the mid 1880’s by noted Sydney architects, Sheerin and Hennessy and constructed of Pyrmont sandstone.

It survives as an example of a Gothic revival style chapel and as a key element in the 19th century picturesque Rookwood necropolis landscape.

Rookwood was served by a rail spur from the main line from 1867 until 1948. The Haslem’s Creek Receiving House (Mortuary 1 Station) was a beautiful sandstone building, spanning the terminus of the branch line.

It received coffins and mourners for over 80 years, when the expanded use of processions by road made it obsolete.

As the largest cemetery in the southern hemisphere, Rookwood reflects the multi-cultural history of Sydney with grand sandstone headstones of early settlers, cultural community lawns through to contemporary garden memorials.

If any social or community groups would like to arrange a tour of Rookwood Catholic Cemetery. please contact us on 1300 114 997 or

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