Name Change for Historic Cemetery

16 September 2014

Wellington’s oldest cemetery, Bolton Street Memorial Park, is reverting to its original name to avoid confusion with the city’s newest park – National War Memorial Park in Buckle Street.

Stone cross at Bolton Street Cemetery

Bolton Street Memorial Park will once more be called Bolton Street Cemetery, the name it had before it changed in 1978 when the new Wellington Urban Motorway opened, dividing the cemetery in two.

Bolton Street Cemetery was developed from three 19th century cemeteries – the public, Church of England and Jewish cemeteries. Entry to the park is from Bolton Street, Bowen Street or through the Botanic Garden. The cemetery was closed from 1968 till 1971, when 3700 bodies were exhumed to make way for the motorway.

It is now a historic reserve and features the city’s heritage rose collection. Many early pioneers and prominent historical figures are among the 8769 people buried there, and its 1334 memorials and headstones commemorate the city’s colonial history.

The National War Memorial Park is the Government’s key project to acknowledge the centenary of the First World War. This will be completed in time to be the centrepiece of Anzac Day commemorations in 2015.