Monday, 28 July 2014

A Little Town Called Berrima.

During my recent holiday in Sydney, my Aunt and I drove to Canberra for a couple of days. On the way there, we stopped for lunch at a beautiful historical town called Berrima. Berrima is recognised as the best preserved example of a Georgian village in Australia. The town, founded in 1831, is 125km south-west (80 minutes) of Sydney and 162km north-east (100 minutes) of Canberra. 

Between 1831 and the 1860s, Berrima prospered and had a population of 400. There were hopes that it would continue to grow with the construction of the Southern Railway Line from Sydney in 1867, however, it ended up bypassing the town. As a consequence, the population decreased to less than 80. Since 1867, there has been little development in the town (Source: Historic Berrima Village).

I must say that I was surprised by its quaintness and history, and fell in love with the town instantly. When we first entered the town, I noticed a very old sign that said 'Berrima Cemetery.' The sign was in the shape of an arrow, and looked like one of those wooden signs with the letters carved into it. We did not have time to go to the cemetery on the way to Canberra, but we made it a must on the drive back, and that we did! 

Because Berrima was founded in 1831, I knew there would have to be some very old graves. Here are some of the interesting ones I discovered -

Thomas Westbury died on December 16, 1883
whilst trying to save two drowning men.
John Mulligan died on June 28, 1886.
He was an officer at the Berrima Gaol.
Edward Armfield died on September 15, 1866. According
to his grave, he was a very old colonist and arrived in 1800.
The oldest grave I found!
Mary Hancock died December 28, 1842, aged 25.
William White died in the 1860's. His stone was erected
by his employers.
Berrima Cemetery

I definitely want to go back to Berrima one day and explore more of its history. It's a beautiful little town and I wish we had more time, but alas, we did not. Apparently Berrima is an ideal wedding location too, but somehow, I do not think my boyfriend will allow that. It's worth a shot though right? I can say we're going on a historical/genealogy trip, and secretly scout wedding locations at the same time! 

Until next time genea-friends!


  1. very interesting inscription on the head stones

  2. Geneology is so interesting. I love all these old gravestones. I'm good friends with an Australian couple who are living here in the States now. She really tells some interesting stories about her childhood.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.


  3. It is always exciting to find headstones with a death date *before civil registration*, and so important that those details are preserved and shared. Well done!

    1. Thank you! I was kicking myself after because I could have turned on my Billion Graves app, but I completely forgot about it.

  4. A pretty and historic town, I hope you're not considering tying the knot in the gaol.

    1. Wouldn't that be a hoot! Lol.
      As fun as that would be, I think I would prefer some of the surrounding estates :)


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