Walnut Hills Cemetery (Brookline, Massachusetts)

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Walnut Hills Cemetery
Walnut Hills Cemetery, Brookline MA.jpg
Walnut Hills Cemetery
Walnut Hills Cemetery (Brookline, Massachusetts) is located in Massachusetts
Walnut Hills Cemetery (Brookline, Massachusetts)
Walnut Hills Cemetery (Brookline, Massachusetts) is located in the US
Walnut Hills Cemetery (Brookline, Massachusetts)
Location Grove St. and Allandale Rd., Brookline, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°18′10″N 71°8′50″W / 42.30278°N 71.14722°W / 42.30278; -71.14722Coordinates: 42°18′10″N 71°8′50″W / 42.30278°N 71.14722°W / 42.30278; -71.14722
Area 45.26 acres (18.32 ha)
Built 1875
Architect Bowditch,Ernest
MPS Brookline MRA
NRHP Reference #


Added to NRHP October 17, 1985

Walnut Hills Cemetery is a historic cemetery on Grove Street and Allandale Road in Brookline, Massachusetts. It encompasses 45.26 acres (18.32 ha), with mature trees and puddingstone outcrops, and was laid out in 1875 in the then-fashionable rural cemetery style. Many past prominent citizens of the town, including noted architect H.H. Richardson, are buried here. The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.[1]

Description and history[edit]

Walnut Hills Cemetery is located in southern Brookline, south of the junction of Grove Street and Allandale Road. Its main entrance is at that junction, with a secondary entrance a short way to the west on Grove Street. It is flanked on the south and west sides by residential areas. Covering about 45 acres (18 ha), the cemetery is characterized by rolling hills, with occasional steep slopes, and mature plantings. Paved and unpaved roads and paths wind through the cemetery, following the contours of the terrain.[2]

The cemetery's built features include its receiving tomb, built in 1901 to a design by Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, Jr. The cluster of utility buildings, including a stable and shed, were designed by Guy Lowell (who is interred here) and built in 1901; Lowell is also the likely designer of the superintendent's cottage that stands near the secondary entrance.[2]

In 1874 the town of Brookline authorized the purchase of 30 acres (12 ha) for a new cemetery, as its Old Burying Ground was filling up. The town retained two landscape gardners, Ernest Bowditch and Franklin Copeland, to oversee its layout. Most of the design for its network of lanes and paths is credited to Bowditch. The cemetery was enlarged by 1 acre (0.40 ha) in 1918 and 14 acres (5.7 ha) in 1926 to reach its present size. The first parts of the cemetery to be filled have mostly granite headstones, often with symbolic figures. In 1886, the cemetery laid down strict new rules, requiring use of slate and enforcing dimensional restrictions. These rules were later relaxed to allow for the use of dark Quincy granite, and then other forms of granite.[2]

Several individuals of local and national importance are buried here. H.H. Richardson, an architect of national stature and a Brookline resident, is buried here, as is Guy Lowell. Charles Sprague Sargent, another Brookline resident buried here, was the founder and first leader of Boston's Arnold Arboretum. John Charles Olmsted, the son of noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and a noted landscape architect in his own right, is buried here.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d "NRHP nomination for Walnut Hills Cemetery". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2015-09-07. 

External links[edit]