A glimpse into Sydney’s railway funerary architecture
About the building
Built for funeral trains running between Sydney and the Rookwood Necropolis, Mortuary Station is the only surviving example of purpose-built Victorian railway funerary architecture in Australia.
Opened in 1869, Mortuary Station was the terminus for a funeral train service that transported the deceased, mourners, clergymen and visitors to Rookwood Cemetery. The building ceased functioning as the terminus in 1938 when motor hearses started transporting the coffins, and passengers boarded trains from Central Station.
Colonial Architect James Barnet designed the single-storey Gothic Revival building elaborately carved with funerary symbolism. The sandstone building was designed to evoke the sombre ambience of a church, while also facilitating the efficient movement of people.
After being used for various purposes through the mid-20th century, Mortuary Station was restored in the 1980s and today remains an intact physical reminder of 19th-century funeral customs.Built
Transport for NSW
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