If you are a lover of history, particularly local, the Fremantle Cemetery has a fantastic Heritage Walk Trail and occasional guided tour. We recently took their tour – Grave Experiences – the Residents of Fremantle Cemetery and it was a real treat. The tour went for an hour and was a light, easy paced walk. Most pathways had wheelchair access, with only a few sandy tracks for the older monuments. The guide whisked the group through the ages with some fascinating stories about Fremantle locals buried within the cemetery. It was a fantastic glimpse into the rich past of our port town and of life in eras gone by.
The lovely twist of the tour was a very enigmatic performance artist who really did bring things to life! A stop at famed youth Percival Mulligan’s grave, who died tragically in 1929 at 19 years of age in a speedway accident. His “father” came to pay his respects with flowers on his son’s grave and then shared his unique perspective of the loss of the talented young “knight”.No visit to Fremantle Cemetery would be complete without a visit to infamous Moondyne Joe.
This was by far our favourite performance as the now elder Joseph Bolitho Johns tells of his misfortunes and talents with both horses and the ladies. Twice the performer began singing old Cornish ditties and two women from the tour group joined in and not a dry eye could be seen! It was a beautiful, unscripted moment.
If you can, I highly recommend this tour. Our guide Don Whittington, was engaging, informative and happy to share his extensive knowledge and have a chat afterwards. You can even have a photo with Moondyne Joe!If you miss the tour, there is a self-guided heritage walk trail you can take at your own pace any time during open hours.
Head to administration where you can get a copy of the Heritage Walk Trail One map and off you go. If you are tech savvy, bring along your smart phone or tablet and you can scan the codes at each location which gives detailed biographical information on the grave sites.
You can download the map before you leave. Click here for more information.
Fremantle Cemetery Heritage Walk Trail One
Where: Fremantle Cemetery, Carrington Street, Palmyra
Open: All cemeteries are generally accessible between daylight and dusk each day.
Office Hours: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday; 8:30 am to 12:30 pm Saturday.
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