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Our History

Rookwood Memorial Gardens East Chapel

Opening in 1925, Rookwood Memorial Gardens and Crematorium is the oldest and longest serving crematorium in Australia.

Building the Crematorium

The Cremation Society of New South Wales was formed in 1908 to promote cremations and to assist in the development of crematoria across the state. In 1916, the New South Wales Cremation Company Ltd was created. This was a commercial body designed to independently raise the funds to plan and build crematoria, freeing such developments from being dependent on state government funding.

The outbreak of World War I put on hold the plans of both the Cremation Society of New South Wales and the New South Wales Cremation Company Ltd. However, activity to promote cremations and to build crematoria recommenced shortly after the conclusion of the War.
By 1922, the Company had selected an architect and by 1923 a private company, Cremation Society of Australia Ltd, had formed to promote cremations across the nation, and to raise funds for their development.

Space within the Rookwood Necropolis was made available to the Cremation Society for the building of Australia's first such facility. The completed facility was complemented with beautiful art deco statues, classical iron work and other period features.

Since the first cremation in 1925, Rookwood Memorial Gardens has served thousands of families and its social and architectural heritage value has been officially recognised.

Rookwood Memorial Gardens' spectacular landscaping and grounds have been developing since the beginning and we regularly receive positive feedback on our established gardens from families and visitors.

Information on architect, Frank Bloomfield, is available here.

To find out more about Rookwood Memorial Gardens and Crematorium and the services we offer, please call us on (02) 9746 8945 or e-mail us below:

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We are available for you 24 hours a day.