The City of Launceston is set to replace several failed sections of bluestone retaining walls in Ockerby Gardens, with initial works having started late last month.
Launceston Mayor Matthew Garwood said the gardens adjacent to the Launceston General Hospital are regarded as one of the most relaxing and popular public spaces in the city.
“Some people might not know that this area has significant historical value to the city,” Mayor Garwood said.
“It served as the city’s graveyard from about 1840 through to 1925 when it was damaged by fire.”
“Following the fire, the gravestones were relocated to Carr Villa before it was rehabilitated and turned into the parkland it is today.”
“If you’ve ever felt a strange cool breeze or a cold shiver, perhaps it’s because there are some 5600 people still buried in the gardens.”
As a way of protecting and preserving the integrity of the area, Council has engaged a specialist archaeologist to undertake a potential impact assessment prior to any works starting.
He will provide input into the construction methods being used and monitor all ground disturbing works.
Mayor Garwood said a significant section of the bluestone walls were on the verge of failing through the centre of gardens, while a similar section alongside the playground was another high priority area due replacement.
“The new bluestone walls will look identical to the original walls but of course built to a modern standard and quality.”
Mayor Garwood said the contractors will look to keep disruptions to an absolute minimum, with all works to be undertaken during daylight hours.
Council has budgeted $200,000 for the project. Temporary fencing will be installed, with relevant warning signs marking any relevant exclusion zones.