New lychgate returns historic feature to Cleveland Cemetery

Redland City Council has completed an important upgrade at the historic Cleveland Cemetery, including the installation of an impressive lychgate that is a replica of the original.

Mayor Karen Williams said the upgrade would not only help preserve the 148-year-old cemetery for future generations, but paid homage to a piece of Redlands Coast history.

“Part of these improvement works included the installation of a lychgate which is a replica of the one placed at the Clarke Street entrance to the cemetery in 1927,” she said.

“Unfortunately that gate had to be removed in 1998 as it was infested with white ants.”

Mayor Karen Williams joins members of the Randall family and Redland Museum to cut a ribbon marking the completion of an upgrade at Cleveland Cemetery.

The new lychgate is made of hardwood, with terracotta tiles on the roof.

It has been mostly handcrafted by a specialised carpenter, with the exception of the gates.

“The original lychgate was commissioned by George Randall of Birkdale in memory of his wife and two sons and was modelled on the gates of St Martin’s Church, Canterbury in England,” Cr Williams said.

Unknown group of men standing in front of the lychgate on Clarke Street circa 1927. (Redland City Library Images and Digital Archive)

“The new lychgate returns this historic element, providing a covered pedestrian entry into the cemetery.

“There are also two new granite columbarium walls on either side of the lychgate, which will increase the capacity for the interment of cremated remains.

“This upgrade will ensure Cleveland Cemetery continues to meet the needs of our community and provide a place where they can comfortably reflect and honour their loved ones.”

The upgrade also included reconstruction of the Randall Walls and Garden and the addition of a shelter and formalised paths.

Division 2 Councillor Peter Mitchell said the upgrade improved access to the cemetery while also enhancing its amenity.

“Some of the old gravel paths have been replaced with concrete pathways, there is a new shelter with a table and seating, and a new avenue of trees,” Cr Mitchell said.

“The upgrade also included the creation of a new lawn burial section along Clarke Street.

The upgrade at Cleveland Cemetery included reconstruction of the Randall Walls and Garden and the addition of a shelter and formalised paths.

“Cleveland Cemetery opened in 1873 and is the oldest cemetery still operational on the Redlands Coast mainland.

“Only Dunwich Cemetery on North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) is older, with burials dating back to 1847.”

In a separate project, the lawn cemetery section on Russell Street also received an upgrade, with the installation of new turf, garden edging and rocks around the headstones, new plants and cleaning.

Council has also recently expanded the Redland Bay Cemetery, with the works providing 288 new burial plots and improving interment options with vaults, monuments, headstones and lawn burials.