With the discovery of gold in 1852, Beechworth saw a massive influx of gold seekers, many from overseas, eager to make their fortune at this very rich goldfield. Within eleven months of this discovery, over 8000 hopeful prospectors had descended on the region. The lack of basic living conditions and sanitation were the cause of many diseases and death, notably the typhoid outbreak of the mid 1800s.
Beechworth Cemetery was established in 1856 and contains the graves of many of Beechworth’s pioneers, including John Drummond, a veteran of the Battle of Waterloo. Of particular historical significance is the Chinese Section of the cemetery where some 2000 Chinese gold seekers and settlers are buried. The Chinese Burning Towers were built in 1857 where mourners used the towers to burn offerings of paper prayers, food and gifts for the afterlife.
The cemetery has recently received registration with the Heritage Council, Victoria for its significance as a Goldfields Cemetery.
Please be respectful and mindful not to enter while a funeral is in progress.
Self guided tour of historic graves
You can collect a self-guided brochure at the cemetery and inspect the graves by following a marked route, commencing at the main gate.