Old Portland Cemetery – Part 1

During our holiday to Portland in January, we visited the North Portland Cemetery also known as the Old Portland Cemetery.  Thanks to a handy brochure I picked up at the Tourist Information Centre it was something we could do as a family.

The guide outlines some of the more notable graves in the cemetery. Each of those graves has a number marker.  There are also arrows pointing to the next grave of interest.  This made visiting the cemetery fun and educational for the small research assistant.  Finding each of the numbered graves and reading the corresponding information in the brochure kept his interest on our circumnavigation of the cemetery.

The number one grave is the Robb family memorial.  William was a local stonemason.

Robb Family Grave

Despite fires in the past, the wooden fence around the Rankin grave still stands, the last of its kind in the cemetery.  The grave belongs to Agnes, Margaret and Charles Rankin

Agnes died from blood poisoning in 1875.

UNIVERSITY LAW EXAMINATIONS. (1875, March 17). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 7. Retrieved May 21, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11513825


Several members of the Haggestton family lie in the Haggestton plot.  Frederick, Sara, Joseph and John Haggestton, the children of Joseph and Mary Haggestton and Joseph and Mary themselves are all buried here. At the time of Joseph senior’s death in 1907, he owned several properties around Portland.  Nineteen properties, including The Royal Hotel, were auctioned on 20 February 1908.   The Haggestton headstone was vandalised, along with others, in 1986.  It was restored by Parker & Sons, a Portland stonemason.


The graves face out over Portland Bay where many of those buried first entered Victoria.

This unusual headstone dates back to 1841 before the cemetery opened.  It belongs to six-year-old Henrietta Earls.  Her mother Harriet was also buried in the plot in 1854.


You can read more about the cemetery on the link:


7 thoughts on “Old Portland Cemetery – Part 1

    • Thanks for your comment Pauline. The cemetery is fascinating. The town of Portland itself is full of history and I will post photos of some of the older buildings sometime soon.


    • It’s my pleasure Louisa. Did you also see the Robb plaque on my post about the Portland Immigration Wall? :
      Thank you for your comment and maybe I will dig up something else on the Robbs in the future.


      • Yes – thank you I did. Great stuff! I will have to get there next time I am in Victoria – I would love to explore the township and see what Robb Stonemasonry is still left standing.


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