Bukit Brown Cemetery

Photo added by Nick Fisher

Bukit Brown Cemetery

Singapore Downtown, Central, Singapore
Memorials 5 added (100% photographed)

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Bukit Brown Cemetery, also known to the local community as Kopi Sua or Coffee Hill, was a public Chinese cemetery that had been established in the early 20th Century. It was the biggest Chinese graveyard outside China. It is located between Lornie Road and Mount Pleasant Road, and off Sime Road and Kheam Hock Road, and is still in existence today. The cemetery was named after its first owner, George Henry Brown. Brown had been a ship owner who had arrived in Singapore from Calcutta in the 1840s, and had bought the area and named it Mount Pleasant. The land was then later bought by Ong Kew Ho and the Hokkien Huay Kuan, who gave it to the Ngee Ann Kongsi.

The 213-acre (0.86 km2) site at Bukit Brown had been acquired and passed into municipal hands by the municipal authorities in 1919 after pressure had been put on it to provide a municipal cemetery for the Chinese communities in Singapore. The cemetery was opened on 1 January 1922 and was managed as a public burial ground by a committee led by committee leaders Tan Kheam Hock and See Tiong Wah–who was at that time comprador of the Hong Kong Bank.

By 1929, Bukit Brown Cemetery accounted for about 40 per cent of all officially registered Chinese burials within municipal limits. The cemetery was eventually closed. In the 1970s, the cemetery faced the threat of being cleared for redevelopment, but it was eventually granted reprieve. Now, the cemetery is home to many bird species and wild life, and has as such become popular again–this time, with nature lovers.

It is the only built area that is near the Bukit Brown MRT Station (part of the Circle MRT Line). Since there are no other developments in the vicinity, the station will remain non-operational till a later date.

It was originally announced by Minister Tan Chuan-Jin in February 2012 that 5,000, out of more than 100,000 graves, would make way for a new 4-lane road that would cut through the cemetery. This number was reduced to 3,746, from the original 5,000, on 19 March 2012. It was also revealed that the rest of the cemetery would make way for a new public housing town in about 40 years time.

The National Archives of Singapore digitised and released online the burial registers of the cemetery between April 1922 and December 1972, as well as a location map of the cemetery in part to help descendants check if their ancestor's graves were affected by the development.

On 30 September 2015, it was reported that the cast iron gates of the cemetery were removed from their posts and would be reinstalled (after refurbishment) at the mouth of a new access road near its original location.


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GPS Coordinates: 1.3361, 103.823

  • Added: 1 Oct 2016
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2624051