There are, of course, more than 10 reasons to call into Rookwood Necropolis. There are a million reasons. There is an estimated one million people who have been buried or interred at Rookwood since it opened in 1868 and each one has a story to tell. At 268 hectares, it is the largest cemetery in the southern hemisphere and it's so big that it is regarded as a suburb sharing postcode 2141 with Lidcombe. It was once served by four railway stations located within the cemetery.
Visiting a cemetery as a leisure activity may seem a little bizarre, but Rookwood is remarkable for many reasons. It has many architecturally significant and impressive monuments and chapels. It is the final resting place of many prominent Australians and even has its own café/restaurant.
Here are ten reasons why you should visit Rookwood. If visiting Rookwood seems daunting, you can take a tour with the Friends of Rookwood. They operate tours on the first Sunday of every month from March to November.
2. Looking for the graves of long lost ancestors at Rookwood makes for a great day out for all the family. Frustrating at times due to its lack of signage, headstones and reference points, but extremely rewarding when you finally find your man/woman.
10. How the mighty fall and are so easily and quickly forgotten. James Atkinson was a successful businessman in the mid 19th century. A wool merchant, industrialist, entrepreneur and member for Cumberland in the N.S.W parliament, insolvency ended his political career and he died virtually a pauper at the age of only 59.
There are over a million stories at Rookwood, city of the dead. These are just 10 of them.