Open House Melbourne 2018

Melbourne General Cemetery’s heritage-listed Gate Lodge will again be opened to the public during this year's Open House Melbourne.

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Open House Melbourne is a free event, providing access to the city's most significant buildings.

Address: College Crescent Parkville

Opening Hours:

  • Saturday 28 July 10.00am - 4.00pm
  • Sunday 29 July 10.00am - 4.00pm

What's Open: Most spaces of the historic Gate Lodge are open, including the boardroom and rear room on the ground floor and the entire second floor.

This year we also have a wonderful display of mourning dresses from the nineteenth century on show, loaned from the National Trust.

Frequency Of Tours: 

Guided tours (both days): 10.15am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.15pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm.

Building Type: Religious Building - Cemetery

Year Built: Cemetery opened 1853, Gate Lodge built 1934-1935

Architect: John Gawler (Gate Lodge), Harmer Architecture Pty.Ltd. (St Mary of the Cross Mausoleum)

Tram Stops:

  • Routes 1, 8; Stop 114: Princess St & Lygon St
  • Route 19; Gatehouse St/College Crescent & Royal Pde


  • Limited mobility access
  • Pram accessible

Melbourne General Cemetery is the final repose of many famous identities, including Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies, ill-fated explorers Burke and Wills, Judge Sir Redmond Barry and Federici, the famous ghost of the Princess Theatre.

About the Gate Lodge

The historic bluestone gothic style Gate Lodge, now an administration building, was rebuilt on its present site in 1934-35. It was made from materials of two demolished entrance lodges, which were built in the 1850s. John Gawler was the architect of the reconstructed Gate Lodge located inside the front entrance on College Crescent. It is the only remaining Gate Lodge in the cemetery. It was used as an office as well as a residence for the cemetery manager.

In 1850, an Act of the New South Wales Parliament was passed establishing the current Melbourne General Cemetery. Like most other cemeteries, it was divided into denominational areas.

However, instead of standard grid styles, Melbourne General Cemetery followed the lead of the Père-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. It was designed to feature curving roads and pathways, pavilions and landscaped gardens where people could find tranquillity and peace.