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This work will require to use the experience you have gained from the practical sessions at Kew cemetery, class discussions

Please address both sites in this report. The following categories are guide  only

There are two areas of study on this site.

  • The revegetation site
  • The garden sites which are under being restored by the Friends of Kew Booroondara cemetery

3. Prepare and document the restoration plan and specifications

3.1 Prepare a detailed plan, specifications and quotation based on horticultural conventions, original design philosophy and the requirements of the restoration works, and present to the client for acceptance

3.2 Produce a scaled site plan which can be readily interpreted and understood by on-site personnel

3.3 Develop and document detailed on-site procedures and schedules required for the restoration of the park or garden and its ongoing maintenance

Description of the location
- official data & own research.  May include:                       

Topography; Climatic Data; Soil Type & Water; Aesthetic Values; Historic Values; Scientific Values; Social Values; Budget; Restraints; Threats; Management…

Statement Of Cultural Significance    

What Makes The Location Worthy Of Preservation Etc. Works.

Conservation Strategies   

What sort of guidelines will the plan utilise to inform actions & recommendations - Burra Charter etc. May include:    

Vision Statement: Recommendations For Capital Works; Schedules Of Recommendations; Tree Management Plan

Maintenance Contract Specifications   

Specifications outlining procedures and processes to be undertaken when working on the site. How things will be done to achieve the best possible outcome.                                                                                         

May include: Specifications for: Health and safety; staff requirements; reporting procedures; traffic management; maintenance of turf areas; maintenance of vegetation; pruning requirements; planting and transplanting; weed control; machinery and equipment.

Brief History

The Kew Cemetery commonly known as the Boroondara General Cemetery is located in Victoria and considered as one of the oldest cemeteries in Victorian State and Australia at large. It is located in the eastern side of the Melbourne’s central business district at an approximately eight kilometers (Kew Cemetery 2019).The cemetery is marking its one hundred and sixty years of existence in the year 2019 and is expected last over several coming years. The continued existence of the cemetery calls for proper maintenance and periodic restoration activities to maintain its good state. There has been various restoration works by various groups of people or organizations composed of volunteers with the main aim of repairing, re-assembling, stabilizing and conserving the concrete works and the vegetation of the cemetery.

This paper therefore provides the report on the restoration work at the Kew Cemetery by looking at the brief history of the cemetery as well as the assessment of the site by use of various methods. Also, various characteristics of the cemetery site like the topography, the soils, vegetation, social and historical values are examined to determine the need for its restoration.

The thirty one acres of land for the Kew Cemetery was first reserved in the 1855 during its planning and the trustees for its management appointed in 1858 with the first burial made a year later. Th cemetery was initially under the Boroondara Parish and its management board comprised of various members representing a number of denominations in the district. The very first board president of the cemetery board was Michael O’Grady who was later replaced by Hawthorn’ mayor in 187o.The other board members drawn from the various denominations included Henry Box, Thomas Judd, John Lloyd, Thomas Johnson, Jabez Chambers, John Denbeigh, Christian Finger and Thomas Balmain.

The building of the cemetery consisted of the construction of the access roads, fencing and the offices. John Padbury was constructed for the first construction works and did the grounds works including the erection of timber fence up to 1859 including gates at various sides of the cemetery. It is important to note that burial activities continued during the planning and construction works therefore some burials were made in the planned driveways thus forcing them to be exhumed for facilitate the constructions. In the 1860s a number of brick buildings including the cartage for caretakers and the water closet were constructed in the site through the decisions made by the trustees. The beatification of the cemetery proceeded after the 1860 with the planting of trees and flowers, construction of office, cock towers and the benches in various parts of the cemetery, toilets, decoration of graves and the construction of the brick wall fence in 1895 under the supervision of Albert Purchas.


This report aims at providing a conservation management plan for the Kew Cemetery. The main areas of focus during the establishment of the plan are the revegetation of the site and the restoration of the garden sites. The methodology for the preparation of the report heavily relied on the established national guidelines for the restoration and conservation of countries in Australia. Also, a number of research work carried out for the conservation of various cemeteries and heritages were utilized during the preparation of this report which also depended on the physical assessment of the cemetery site conditions.

A number of stakeholders who include the management of the cemetery were considered during the preparation of this report. The opinion and valuable information necessary for the restoration plan for the cemetery were obtained from various members of the board of management which consists of Judith Voce the Chair and John Fittock the Deputy Chair. The other members of the management consulted include Mary-Anne Carmody, Patrick Nolan, Greg Nolan, Gavan O’Keefe, Linda Polazzon, Helen Page and Sumithirai Prabhakaran. The information obtained included the information on their planned projects such as the current ongoing construction of the perimeter brick wall

The Kew cemetery is located along the Parkhill Road in the Kew, a Melbourne’s suburbs about eight kilometers from the CBD. The cemetery forms a triangular section of 31 acres that is surrounded by the High Street in the northwest, the Victoria Park to the east and the Park Hill road in the South. It surrounded by a brick wall that is about 3.3 m high with panels made between the piers with the main entrance located to the west at the intersection of the High Street and Park Hill Road.

The general topography of the Kew cemetery is composed of a collection of various mature tress of different species such as the Bhutan Cypress, Bunya Bunya and the Canary Island Pine which are planted in rows. The cemetery land slopes from the west in around the Rotunda towards the east comprising the Chinese graves and the native vegetation. Driveways and footpaths made of asphalt are visible across the cemetery with seats located at various strategic points for the people visiting the site. Also, offices for the cemetery service bookings and payments are visible at the right of the entrance including the well-arranged cartage for the caretakers.

The climatic conditions of the Kew cemetery range from high to low temperatures in various months of the year with rainfall experienced only in a few days of the months. According to the National Centre for Environmental Information, the highest temperatures recorded are 27o C and the rains can be experienced up to a maximum of nine days in a moth. Table 1 shows the various recorded and predicted weather conditions of the Kew cemetery ( National Centers for Environmental Information 2019).


High - Low Temperatures (°C)

Rainfall (days)


  26° - 16°         



27° - 16°                                      



21° - 12°                                      



21° - 12°



17° - 10°



15° -  8°



14° -  7°



16° -  8°



18° -  9°



20° -  11°



22° - 12°



24° - 14°


Stake Holders

The soils at the Kew cemetery is composed of the natural black clays which are covered by vegetation like the grasses and trees. However, there are signs of foreign soils into the site for landscaping of the cemetery. The water is supplied through taps at various locations in the cemetery. According to the survey by the Heritage ALLIANCE (2014), low taps are available against the standard height of taps prescribed by the guidelines. The spills from the taps are falling into the ground which would otherwise be channeled into drains for watering plants.

The guidelines provided by the Burra Charter are essential in the assessment of places that are considered to be important. The charter defines a place can be an areas, site, building or works including the surroundings. The aesthetic, scientific, historic and the social values of a place are used in the examination of cultural significance of a place (Díaz-Andreu 2017).

The aesthetic values of places are examined based on the quality of the surroundings of the place including the form, colour, material and fabrics. The Kew Cemetery has a tranquil, impressive memorials picturesque setting and landmark features like the clock tower. These features makes the cemetery to have a considerable amount of the aesthetic value.

The Kew Cemetery represents the oldest and historic Victorian cemetery displaying the Picturesque and Romantic specs of beauty that is seen in the designs and layout of structures in the cemetery. A number of great men and women of various faiths are associated with cemetery as their graves lie in the historic site. Also, available in the offices and boardrooms are the collection of pictures, monuments and burial records of great people like Albert Purchas associated with the design of the Kew Cemetery.

The scientific significance of the Kew Cemetery can derived from the availability of old exotic plants such as the Golden Funeral Cypress. Also, the large amount of graves and historic documents in the cemetery are important in the scientific research purposes. In addition the Kew Cemetery displays its social significance as it hosts the graves for the early descendants of the people of Melbourne who were associated with spiritual and political activities. Generally, the Kew Cemetery has great cultural significance ranging from social, historic, aesthetic and historic importance.

The conservation strategies which include the development and upgrading of various buildings and spaces in the cemetery greatly depend on the policies that have been developed for conservation (CoAssociates 2017). The conservation policies requires that alterations should only be done in the areas with very little significance. The significance of the places are looked in terms of primary, contributory, lesser and no significance categories and the strategy is important so as to maintain the cultural significance of the cemetery (Buckley 2015).                                                                                                                  

Some of the recommended capital works include works needed in the lodge and office, Rotunda and the cemetery wall (National Trust 2014). The works required in the lodge and office include repainting and repairs of joints, removal of roof lichen and replacement of the tiles in the roof ridges. The recommended works in rotunda include the roof tiles, gutters and downpipe repairs, resetting of the moving floor tiles, joinery works and repainting. Finally, the recommended works in cemetery wall include removal of the invading plants in the top of the wall, the uplifting of certain wall sections and rebuilding of the destroyed sections of the wall.

The budget estimates for the lodge and office works = $90,000

The budget estimates for cemetery wall = $200,000

The budget estimates for the Rotunda works = $45,000

Total budget for the recommended works = $(45,000 + 200,000 + 90,000)

= $335,000


National Centers for Environmental Information,2019 .Available from

Kew Cemetery, 2019. Welcome to Kew Cemetery Available from

Díaz-Andreu, M., 2017. Heritage values and the public.

Buckley, B.G., 2015. Perpetual Care: A Sustainable Approach to Restoring the Lost Landscapes of America's Rural Cemeteries.

National Trust, 2014. Guidelines for the Conservation of Cemetery. Available from:

CoAssociates, 2017. Cemetery and monument care guide

Heritage ALLIANCE, 2014. Boroondara Cemetery High Street, Kew Conservation Management Plan. Available from

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