The Most Beautiful Cemeteries in New England

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From tiny churchyards to sprawling parks, New England is famous for its historic burial grounds. Dating back to the 19th-century, these garden-style cemeteries are considered some of the most beautiful cemeteries in New England.

Are you a Tombstone Tourist? Do you enjoy visiting cemeteries as a destination for the art, history, nature, and serenity? If so, you’re in luck. New England is home to several historic “garden style” or “rural” cemeteries, a landscape style made popular throughout the 19th-century by combining “final resting place” with a “place of natural beauty,” making them a popular destination for both the living and the recently living. Stroll one of these historic, garden-style cemeteries today and see why we’ve named them the most beautiful cemeteries in New England.

swan point cemetery providence

Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, RI.

Aimee Seavey

Mount Auburn Cemetery – Cambridge, MA
Founded in 1831, Mount Auburn is often cited as not just one of the most beautiful cemeteries in New England, but also in the world. It was the first of the 19th-century “rural cemetery” movement that combined cemeteries with park-style landscaping. Walking paths wind between more than 5,000 trees and more than 30,000 monuments, including top displays from early American sculptors. Famous “residents” include artist Winslow Homer, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and cookbook author Fannie Farmer, though in total over 90,000 people are buried at Mt. Auburn today. Guided tours of the cemetery’s historic, artistic, and horticultural points of interest are available, and well worth it.
580 Mount Auburn St. 617-547-7105; mountauburn.org

If you like Mount Auburn Cemetery you may also wish to visit historic Forest Hills Cemetery in nearby Jamaica Plain, founded in the same garden style in 1848.

Mount Hope Cemetery – Bangor, ME
Founded in 1834, Mount Hope Cemetery in the up-and-coming town of Bangor was likely modeled after Mount Auburn Cemetery’s “garden” style. Its prestige and beauty made it a natural attractive resting place for Maine’s political elite — includes the gravesites of a Vice President, two Senators, eleven Congressmen, two U.S. Ambassadors, five Governors of Maine, eight Civil War Generals, and numerous other prominent Maine businessmen and residents. Whew!
1048 State St. 207-945-6589; mthopebgr.com

Swan Point Cemetery – Providence, RI
Founded in 1846, Swan Point Cemetery’s original 60 acres (now 200) of meticulously maintained grounds, trees, and walking paths have long been a serene sanctuary for many Ocean State residents. Dozens of Rhode Island political and military figures are buried today at Swan Point, including Civil War General Ambrose Burnside.
585 Blackstone Blvd. 401-272-1314; swanpointcemetery.com

Learn More! Swan Point Cemetery | Local Treasure

Cedar Hill Cemetery – Hartford, CT
Founded in 1866, Cedar Hill was designed to serve as a “rural cemetery” in the style of Mount Auburn Cemetery, with mature trees, walking paths, and gravestones doubling as art. It spreads over three tows (Hartford, Wethersfield, and Newington) spanning 273 acres, including the Northam Memorial Chapel and Gallup Memorial Gateway. Group or self-guided tours available.
453 Fairfield Ave. 860-956-3311; cedarhillfoundation.org

Hope Cemetery – Barre, VT
When the “granite capital of the world” town of Barre, Vermont founded Hope Cemetery in 1895, it was understood that its stones would be something special. Serving as both cemetery and unofficial art gallery, its original 53 (today 65) acres display masterful carvings by many of the world’s top granite sculptors. In fact, a large number of the tombstones mark the graves of the sculptors themselves, and were sometimes even carved by the very artist that now lies beneath it.
262 E Montpelier Rd. 802-476-6245

Are these the most beautiful cemeteries in New England? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Comments
  • I love cemeteries…not just for the natural beauty of the Earth but also for the history. I love to look at the headstones and read the names of those who have gone before and imagine what their stories are. I am also a lover of old and unusual names.

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  • I think Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY should have definitely made the list.

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  • I have a beautiful picture of a cemetery in Manchester, NH. One of my absolute favorite places to photo :). I’d love to send a photo somehow. Real nice fall colors. Beautiful cemetery setting. They do an amazing job there-

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  • I grew up very close to a small cemetary named Guntown Cemetary as a kid we would always explore it and read the names, it’s not a beautiful cemetary buy very old and supposdly haunted, popular around halloween. Found this excerpt online: One of the oldest cemeteries in the area, the Gunntown Cemetery in the Millville section of Naugatuck, CT dates back over two centuries to 1790, and features numerous headstones from the Colonial era. A smallish plot, it is enclosed by a stone wall and an iron gate

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  • I know, it’s beautiful and I know there are MANY beautiful ones in NH, one of them should have made the list!

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  • Hi Shannon and Tina. We chose these cemeteries because they fit the historic “garden style” that was popular during the 1800’s. We think the park-like landscaping makes them especially beautiful, but we’d love to hear about any other cemeteries you think fit the bill. Let us know!

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  • Block Island’s cemetery is one of the lovliest I’ve ever seen. Truly one of a kind and I read this article as I expected it to top the list!

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  • The Lowell Cemetery is another beautiful one, and there is a wonderful tour of the historic grounds!

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  • the majority of Mount Auburn Cemetary is located n Watertown not Cambridge MA

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  • Hi Joan. The mailing address for Mount Auburn Cemetery is 580 Mount Auburn Street in Cambridge, so that’s why we’ve listed it as being located there. Thanks for your comment!

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  • Catherine

    The cemetery located on Cuttyhunk Island. One of the stones reads, “An island girl come home”.

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  • Riverside Cemetery in Fairhaven, MA should have made this list, maybe even as #1….

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  • I was raised in Morningside Cemetery in Brattleboro vt. My dad was caretaker there for over 40 years. It is a beautiful place to walk around. Almost 5 miles of road.

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  • Having lived many years in New England, there were so many I visited for the history alone. The different designs carved on the headstones/tombstones were in, of themselves, worth seeing. Thanks for this wonderful information.

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  • I was there when little to visit my great grandmothers Grave , it is in Arlington Cemetary i heard it was very beautiful, been yrs since i was there

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  • The only day I ever skipped school a friend and I left BUHS and went down to Morningside Cemetery just to wander around and read stones. That was in 1959, I’ve been back several times since and enjoy it every time. I like the way it sort of blends in with Prospect Cemetery.

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  • I worked across the river from Mt Auburn Cemetary, and often drove over to sit and eat lunch in the peaceful and beautiful surroundings. Some of the memorials are quite astounding, and the landscape planting is stunning all year round.

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  • Pine Grove Cemetary in Lynn, MA
    It’s a beautiful park setting. They have many varieties of trees and most are marked with common and Latin names.
    I lived across the street!

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  • Evergreen Cemetery in Portland, Maine is so full of history and beauty…..and most of my relatives.

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  • Woodlawn Cemetery Everett , Mass Truly A Hidden Gem Come and visit – I have been there over 45 years !!! We never get credit for the beauty I think some do not know about this garden cemetery north of Boston

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