The Norfolk Island Cemetery has been used to lay locals to rest for over 200 years; the tombstones are a ‘who’s who of local history and families. There are convicts from the First Fleet, soldiers, sailors, descendants of the Mutineers from HMS Bounty, and other residents, including beloved novelist Colleen McCulloch.
The headstones are dramatic (as is the scenic setting, alongside the coast ) with a lot more description than those we are used to! They share the gory and tragic details of the deaths and show the brutality of life on the island including many drownings, accidents, and executions.
Of particular note are the 13 convicts who are buried outside the cemetery boundary. These men were executed for a riot in 1834 and buried in unconsecrated ground in a mass grave known as a ‘murderer’s mound’. The most famous of these men was William Westwood commonly known as ‘Jackey Jackey’ – one interesting character who is well worth looking up! The last photo shows the mound on the front left of the image – we think that these convicts got the best spot of all!
There are also old Freemason graves – these often have angels and skulls and crossbones on them – not pirates as many may instantly assume!
This is one cemetery that is well worth a visit!