As part of the National Trust Australian Heritage Festival 2017, the Friends of Mays Hill Cemetery will be conducting a tour of the cemetery, guided by Judith Dunn on Sunday 30th April 2017 at 2pm. The theme for this year's Festival is 'Having a Voice' so the tour will give some of those interred within the cemetery a chance to have their voices heard through Judith's tour:
"Family Stories from Mays Hill Cemetery"
For more details and bookings please contact the Secretary on 9635 o796
or go to the details shown on the National Trust's website at:
A SHORT HISTORY OF MAYS HILL CEMETERY
(Also known as The Western Road Cemetery)
Copied in part from "The Parramatta Cemeteries - MAYS HILL" by Judith Dunn and published by Parramatta and District Historical Society.
"Mays Hill Cemetery is in reality two distinct cemeteries appropriated for the Presbyterians and Baptists of the Parramatta area in 1839 and 1849 respectively. They were deliberately situated just outside the town boundary near the top of Mays Hill ridge in a sparsely populated area, yet within reasonable reach of the local inhabitants.............
The first entry in the Presbyterian burial register is Elizabeth McKay, abode George and Church Streets, died 9th October 1843 aged 34 years......Her profession was listed as publican (her husband's profession)..........The impressive family memorial still stands and is indicative of their position in Parramatta society........Her husband, John McKay, was valet to Governor Gipps but left his employ and became licensee of Richard Rouse's Australian Arms Inn.........
The first entry in the Baptist burial register is William Hopkins Carey, buried 25th September 1852 aged 22years. This is curious as he was not buried in Mays Hill but in the Independent section of the Devonshire Street cemetery, now the site of Central Station, Sydney. A memorial service was however, held for him in Parramatta. William Carey was, despite his young age, a highly regarded Minister to the Baptist community and his death was a critical event in the early history of the church. Through a quirk of fate William was eventually re-interred in Mays Hill when Devonshire Street cemetery was demolished to make way for the railway, In this manner his headstone is the oldest in the cemetery but was erected elsewhere first.
The earliest memorial to be erected in the Baptist Cemetery records the second burial in the register, Arthur Stapleton, a child of sixteen months who died on 8th December 1853.
During 2017 the local government boundaries between the former Holroyd City Council and Parramatta City Councils were altered and Mays Hill Cemetery now lies within the boundary of the new City of Parramatta Council.
The cemetery is also cared for by the Friends of Mays Hill Cemetery.