Learn mortuary chapel history

Mortuary Chapel, Maryborough, Qld.

Mortuary chapel, the nucleus of M’boro Cemetery

Have you ever been to the Maryborough Cemetery; the Monumental Cemetery, south of Walker St?

Of course, you have! However, if you have visitors and you’re looking for something interesting on a balmy afternoon, there’s no better place to visit.

Apart from the forest of beautiful and interesting monuments and headstones, when you arrive, your eyes will be drawn to the Mortuary Chapel.

This is the handsome structure in the centre of the “old” cemetery.

Once again, a building in our midst boasts interesting and talented antecedents.

The Queensland Heritage Register describes the “chapel” building type as rare and the structure itself, with a tower and four entrances over a central axis as unique in Queensland.

Bravo! There’s a reason this piece of our heritage is so ­special.

Work of architect Willoughby Powell

As with the various buildings, mentioned in the Maryborough Herald on May 7, attributable to Francis Drummond Greville Stanley, the Mortuary Chapel is the work of ­another distinguished Queensland Colonial architect.

This time it is Willoughby Powell who arrived in Queensland in 1872, and by 1875, had won a competition for the ­design of the Toowoomba Grammar School.

In 1882, he moved to Maryborough and set up his own practice here.

Apart from his design for Maryborough’s Mortuary Chapel, he was the “genius” who gave us ­Baddow House; one of the classic heritage private homes of Queensland.

Alas, Powell moved back to Brisbane in 1885, but went on to design important buildings across the length of Queensland.

Among his other achievements are Gabbinbar Homestead, Toowoomba Town Hall, Warwick Town Hall, and the Atkinson & Powell Building in Townsville.

For more details, visit the Queensland Heritage Register at https://bit.ly/2TgOgf9.

The Mortuary Chapel story was first published in the Maryborough Herald on 18 May 2020
mortuary chapel - burial crypt

The Maryborough Cemetery in Queensland has many historical grave sites including the Aldridge family crypt.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like Understanding Cemetery Symbols by Peter Woodland.




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