I enjoy photography and a bit of writing.
I'm currently mid way through a 365 day photo challenge where I have to post a photo every day for a year - ridiculous challenge, but good fun and good learning experience.
Published June 12th 2017
How did Sam Barley die in 1834? And who was responsible?
Sometimes there's nothing better than being a tourist in your own town or local area. Like all of us, I can get caught up in the day-to-day, driving straight past things of genuine interest on a regular basis without taking the time to engage with them.
Last week I had time to kill in North Parramatta and thought that I'd be a tourist for a couple of hours. What would a tourist do? Find something of interest nearby and embrace the new experience.
That's how I found myself wandering around St Patrick's Cemetery on Pennant Hills Road in North Parramatta. St Patrick's is the oldest Catholic cemetery in NSW and the first Mortuary Chapel in Australia. It offers a real step back in time and a sense of how things might have been back in the 1800s.
St Patrick's Cemetery in North Parramatta is a small and pretty well maintained cemetery of the 1800s.
The entrance to the cemetery is via a gate located on Castle Street. There's plenty of parking on the street, with additional spaces that are used by visitors to the nearby Richie Benaud Oval. It's open to the public and (for a cemetery) has a very welcoming feel. Tours are conducted for school groups, walking groups and individuals who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the history associated with the cemetery and its occupants - but it's also very rewarding just taking a wander around by yourself.
Names on the headstones indicate a strong Irish flavour present in the area at the time - Murphy, Kelly, O'Brien, etc. Take some time to find the headstone of young Samuel Barley, the 3 year old boy drowned in an uncovered well back in 1834. His headstone suggests there's no doubt who his parents thought was responsible for his untimely end.
Five Parramatta priests are buried beneath the mortuary floor.