St David's Park


Location: Cnr Davey Street and Sandy Bay Road, Hobart
A short walk up from Salamanca Place, St David's Park is located on the site of St David's cemetery. St David's Park is a formal English style walled park and dates from the beginning of European settlement in 1804. This was the site of the first burial ground in Tasmania, marked out by Lieutenant-Governor David Collins and the Reverend Robert Knopwood in April 1804. At that time the burial ground was 'a place of real seclusion and rare beauty' crossed by two crystal streams with fine old blackwood trees dotted through the groves of wattle on the high ground, located away from the main settlement and surrounded by an 'exquisite natural shrubbery'. It was called St David's Cemetery as a mark of respect to the memory of the Colony's founding Lt Governor, Lt Col David Collins. Collins himself was buried there in March 1810.

About a year afterwards the first church in Tasmania was built on the spot, with its altar directly above his grave. The opening of the Cornelian Bay cemetery in 1872 allowed St Davids and all the other burial grounds within the city to be closed.

A register compiled at the time shows that at least 900 people were once buried under the lush green turf of St David's Park. Some were reburied at Cornelian Bay, most were allowed to sleep on under the now carefully-tended gardens and lawns. Now only a few of the more important memorials remain - including David Collins, first Lieutenant Governor, interred in a casket of Huon pine.



The park was laid out in its present format in 1926 and contains numerous memorials, including the Anglesea Barracks Memorial Wall, Norfolk Islanders and Firtst Fleet convicts who came to Tasmania and were buried here. The gravestones and memorials in the park include those of Lieut. Governor David Collins who established the colony at Hobart; author and colonial secretary James Ebenezer Bicheno; Lachlan M Sorell, the infant son of Lt Governor Sorell; Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, Lieut. Governor in 1840s. A major feature of the park is the memorial wall which is made up of many of the original headstones from the park s previous life as the Hobart colony s first cemetery. It contains the names and details of many First Fleeters  and many of the early settlers of Hobart Town.

The lion sculptures at the entrance were restored as a bicentennial gift to the people of Hobart from the Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Limited which erected them here jointly with the corporation of the city of Hobart in 1988. The lions were carved in a tent on the foot path in 1884 by Richard Patterson to serve over the entrance to the Bank of Van Diemen s Land. The lions were then displayed at Port Arthur under the care of the Tasmanian Government until 1988.

A stroll around the park's wall of headstones gives a poignant picture of life and death in the colony's early days as there are many headstones for children from those days when children s life expectancy was not very high. There are also memorials to those settlers who came from Norfolk Island to become part of the new settlement in 1807. Location: .

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