Guildford Cemetery


The purpose of my visit to the Guildford cemetery on a gorgeous August day last Tuesday was to photograph some of the graves belonging to Swiss Italian families. I had been to the cemetery with Katie a couple of times before. Katie waited expectantly at the gate – this place means rabbit hunting!

Swiss Italian families settled the region around Daylesford, Yandoit and Guildford in the 1800s. They farmed the land, built houses and outbuildings from the local stone and each family had their own recipe for making bull boars – a dense meaty, herby, garlicy sausage.



Some of the graves are tucked away in the far corner of the cemetery.


This family was dogged by tragedy.



DSCN5010This woman was kept busy raising three families in her lifetime.






A number of graves bear the name Delmenico……..




and Passalaqua.


The Barassi family produced one of Guildford’s most famous identities.


I moved on to other graves. This new grave pays homage to the role of Australian Rules Football in this person’s life. Josie Connell was a Western Bulldogs supporter.


The violets growing on this grave scented the warm air.


This headstone brought back memories of my Aunt Anne. Guildford Gus was one of her favourite hosts on local community radio.







At the main intersection in Guildford, Ron Barassi, Australian Rules Football legend, gazes across to……..


…………Guildford’s only remaining hotel.



10 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing that piece of history. I truly enjoyed reading this post

  2. Cemeteries are such interesting places to visit. The history they reveal! I think the poignant graves of babies and young children who died from preventable infections and lack of medical treatment affect me the most.

    • Yes, Jane. It is sobering to be reminded how many children died young in former times. So many deaths in Australia at this current time of our history would be considered shocking.

  3. Yes, cemeteries are a treasure trove! I met the Barrassi once, many years ago when we used the same dry cleaners. He had his special charisma and I still had my looks, we sparked! A lovely man. The pub looks interesting…

    • Thank you, Janina. I am glad this post brought back memories of your meetings with Ron Barassi.

  4. I love strolling cemeteries… as you say there is a wealth of history. I love carrying the camera to photograph interesting images – both the decorative fences and some of the sculpted and beautifully etched stones are artistic wonders.

    • Hi Lori, I am glad you like this post. I find it interesting to see how graves have changed over time. I have noticed how many modern graves are personalised. Family and friends decorate graves with objects they associate with the person.

  5. What a moving piece of history and how well tended the graves are. I loved the old fashioned hotel too.

    • Hi Susan. Cemeteries provide a wealth of local history and the Swiss Italian heritage is well represented in Guildford’s cemetery.
      I believe it is some years since any member of the Delmenico family ran the hotel. People will be living it up at the hotel during the Guildford Banjo Jamboree held from the 16th to 18th of September.

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