Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mt. Victoria Cemetery, Devonport

Updated 30 November 2021.

I only wandered through part of this old cemetery yesterday afternoon. The steep hill and soft conditions put me off -- but perhaps in warmer weather, I'll head up to see what is at the edge of the rest of the reserve. For now, here are some of the images.

I did find Eruera Maihi Patuone's grave.

Twenty-two year old Henry Talbot, third officer of the ship Persian Empire, died on March 30 1890 while going to the rescue, along with two of his shipmates, of passengers on a pleasure boat which capsized in the Waitemata Harbour near their ship. Sadly, he was struck on the head by part of the wheel of a paddle steamer which came up to the spot at that time. His only relatives were two aunts in England (Christchurch Star, 31 March 1890).

His grave is in a bit of disarray, but the maritime anchor on his stone is still clear.

Thomas Duder also lies here.

Signalmaster and early local politician.

Captain Gladwyn  I R Wynyard.

In our obituary notices this morning, it is our painful task to record the name of Captain G. I. R. Wynyard, son of the late Major-General Robert Henry Wynyard, C.B., of the 58th Regiment, Commander of the Forces in New Zealand; first superintendent of the province of Auckland, and for some years officer administering the Government of this colony — a gentleman whose memory can never be recalled to the old colonists of this province, but with, sentiments of the most affectionate regret… All must feel a sense of sorrow at the untimely death, of the third and last but one of Colonel Wynyard's offspring. Captain Gladwyn Wynyard died at his late residence in Devonport, on Saturday, the 11th February, 1871, from jaundice, and an affection of the liver. He was born in Dublin on the 12th January 1831. He was appointed Page of Honour to the Queen Dowager (Adelaide) on the 27th January, 1844. He arrived in Sydney with his father and family, with a detachment of the 55th Regiment. At the close of that year he was gazetted as ensign in the 58th Regiment — August 15, 1848; lieutenant, March 15, 1850 ; adjutant, July 28, 1854 ; captain, December 18, 1857. He accompanied the regiment on its removal to England, in the 'Mary Ann,' Captain Ashby, in November, 1858. Afterwards he served in this rank as aide-de-camp and private secretary to the Lieutenant- Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, from September, 1859, to February, 1860, when he retired from the army to settle in New Zealand, where he was appointed to the commission of the peace. He was an affectionate son, husband, and brother, and a kindly-disposed friend and companion.
Southern Cross, 13 February 1871

Some of the graves here are still okay, some of the headstones either clear or at least decipherable -- but many aren't.

This one is unusual. At the top of the headstone is the "broken pillar", symbol for a life cut short. But Robert Hunt, whose stone this is, died aged 83.


  1. I love exploring cemeteries, there's a wealth of information and history there.
    Also, due to vandalism in the St Kilda cemetery a few years ago it was discovered that many of those stone mason carving abilities have been lost through not being passed down.

  2. Susanne Stone, Pukekohe EastOctober 5, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    There is talk of this cemetery and adjoining church being sold off. Who has care of it then?

  3. The only ones who could sell Mt Victoria Cemtery would be Auckland Council, seeing as it was vested in the Devonport Borough Council back in the 1920s or so -- I'm sure there would be a great hue and cry were that to happen.

  4. As an interested person with relatives buried there, I am wondering what to do to protect their graves. Christine

  5. Hi Christine,

    I'll look into it for you, and ask Auckland Council. If you like, email me:


  6. I've just contacted the manager of North Shore Cemeteries, who has told me that he is unaware of any sale or plans to sell Mt Victoria Cemetery at the moment.

  7. Righto -- pending what appears in the Friday adveretisements from Harcourts' branch at Takapuna, here seems to be the story, from what I've seen online:

    The Devonport Speculator published an article on the plans by the Presbyterian Church at 100A Victoria Road to put their church and adjoining small cemetery on the market. Now, while this cemtery is located in the Mt Victoria area, and is on the mountain, it isn't Mt Victoria Cemetery, which is around the corner, between 2 and 2A Albert Road. That is a closed cemtery, under the control of Auckland Council.

    The cemetery in this blog post, Mt Victoria Cemetery, is not the subject of the Presbyterian Church's sale proposal.

  8. my great grandfather thomas bond is buried here alongside the grave of chief patuone. thomas was the son of one of the first farmers in devonport. his father william bond farmed the area from russell st. summer st. waterview rd. calliope rd. caughtly st. and of course william bond st. where his house was situated. william bond and his second son william bond jr. also owned the bond timber mill situated where the naval base now is. to loose this cemetery would be a shame as i'm sure other first settlers were buried here to.

    1. Hello there..I work at the Devonport Museum and we are part of a group that are also working up at the Mt Victoria Cemetery. Are you able to furnish us with any information as to the exact whereabouts this grave is? We are trying to map out as many of the graves as possible and there is no known existing map/plan of the orginal cemetery. Please email us on
      Thanks and regards Anna and Gail

  9. Auckland Council have no intention to alter the status of the Mt Victoria Cemetery. The cemetery which became the subject of concern late last year is that adoining the former Presbyterian Church just up the road.

  10. Mt Victoria Cemetery includes the Catholic and Presbyterian/Methodist sections. The Auckland Council has title to the Anglican section. The Presbyterian Chruch is still intending to sell their section of the cemetery and their church. The Mt Victoria Cemetery as a whole was a Crown Grant in 1856 and was closed in 1891 as it was full.
    The Presbyterian and Catholic Churchs were given title to their sections in 1891 as under the Burial and Cremeration Act of 1882 section 81 it could not be given to the Borough Council because it was to save the rights of the denominational trustees.The Anglican section was given to the Devonport Borough Council in 1933.If the sale of the Presbyterin section of the cemetery is to be stopped people need to write to the Minister of Health.
    I have been trying to get the cemetery sub divided off from the church and given to the council, but the church is trying to sell the whole title to another church and avoid the cost of sub dividing and legal hassles.
    Gail Lyons

  11. Thanks for that, Gail. At the moment, the Presbyterian land isn't listed by Council as "Mt Victoria Cemetery", though, considering that it is under separate title. In the strictest sense, once the Presbyterians had that title, it became the Presbyterian Cemetery (otherwise, wouldn't it have had a sign there saying "this is part of Mt Victoria Cemetery"?

    I do hope it can be preserved, though, and wish you well with your campaign.

  12. Loved your photos here.
    Continuing on with the debate about the cemetery by St Paul's Presbyterian Church, the Auckland Council records the interments for those buried there as "Mt Victoria Cemetery". There is a sign also at 100A Victoria Road that says it is part of Mt Victoria Cemetery. I wish I had taken a photo of it. I took some photos of some of the graves there, and at least today it was dry and good weather to go up the hillside a little way.