Fremantle Cemetery was first established in 1899. The minutes of the first Board Meetings are dated 24 June 1898.
The earliest documents on record are two Grants given by "Victoria, by the grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain....”
The first dated 19th of October one thousand eight hundred and sixty seven, refers to "Two roods and twenty perches" of land given to "...Martin Griver his heirs and assigns for ever as a Cemetery for Roman Catholics.” The second Grant for "two roods and twenty perches" is dated 1870 and refers to "Fremantle Town Lot C.7 bounded by Lots C4 and C6....”
Fremantle Cemetery was preceded by Skinner Street Cemetery (now John Curtin Oval) 1852 - 1899 and Alma Street Cemetery (now Fremantle Primary School) which closed in 1855.
In 1931 some 90 headstones were moved from Skinner Street and relocated at Fremantle Cemetery. All remains recovered were removed and reburied. The earliest headstone recorded is one of Mary Anne Morrell which dates back to 1832 and who was exhumed and relocated from the Alma Street Cemetery to Fremantle Cemetery by her family 28 October 1915.
In June 2003 Fremantle Cemetery launched a fascinating Heritage Trail. Visitors can experience a slice of Western Australian history first hand by following this trail past monuments and gravesites of famous people such as C Y O’Connor, the engineer whose vision resulted in the Goldfields water pipeline.
The 45-minute walk provides wheelchair access and covers some 90 pioneer headstones along with a more contemporary memorial for Bon Scott, the former lead singer of the Australian rock band AC/DC.
A trail booklet can be obtained free of charge from the Fremantle Cemetery office, or can be downloaded here: Founders and Felons – A Tour Guide for the Fremantle Cemetery Historical Walk Trail
We hope you enjoy the trail of Founders & Felons and that this legacy proves to be a useful reminder of Fremantle's heritage and history in years to come.
More trails around Fremantle!
If you enjoyed the Founders & Felons trail, then there are plenty more exciting trails on offer in and around Fremantle. The City of Fremantle has recently developed the Fremantle Trails website to promote a series of 10 walking trails around Fremantle. To visit the site, simply click here.