Carr Villa Memorial Park opened on August 1, 1905. The land in Kings Meadows on which it was developed was previously home to a ladies school run by the Knight family who had acquired the site in the 1820s.
The Tasmanian Government purchased Carr Villa around 1880 then leased the site to the Launceston Metropolitan Corporation, which chose it as the city's new cemetery in 1895. Overcrowding at smaller cemeteries meant there was a pressing need for Carr Villa; however locals were concerned the site was too far from the centre of town, municipal boundary, public transport and water supply.
By 1902 opposition had waned and contracts were let for preparation. The State Government loaned £3000 but engineer Charles St. John David, who had earlier designed the town's hydro power station, sewers, public buildings and Brisbane's tram system, completed the task with £500 to spare.
By 1904, five of 20 acres had been cleared and levelled, new trees and shrubs planted plus a supervisor's house and mortuary chapel built.
John Doran was the first man to be interned on August 1, 1905. Later that year on December 2, Annie Scanlon was the first woman to be buried. Annie's grave is among the first rows on the left as you enter Carr Villa.
Carr Villa Memorial Park slowly grew, five acres every five years under St. John David's guidance and denominational boundaries rearranged in 1922. Two years later, St. John David died and was buried in the cemetery he created. His grave is the first upon entering the main gates with the epitaph, Si Monumentum quaeries circumspice which translated means, "If you seek his achievements, look around you."
The standard of upkeep diminished in following decades, particularly around the time of World War One and Great Depression.
By 1937, the Launceston City Council had invested just over £10,000 to build features including a crematorium, chapel and rose gardens.
After the Second World War, routine returned to the community and the original loan for Carr Villa was paid off, though the operation ran at a loss largely due to burials and cremations being administered apart. Only when cremations overtook burials in 1968 did Carr Villa register a small profit.
In the late 1970s, level lawn sites, pools and shrubbery began to change Carr Villa's appearance to fit in with its surrounding nature reserve. A decade later, preservation of Carr Villa's heritage became important and the site's earliest graves were kept along with its new. Monumental sites became available soon after.
The Tasmanian Government permanently transferred ownership to the City Council in 1996.
Carr Villa remains a unique place, offering modern facilities, sensitivity, openness and ample choice to family and friends, on a secure and richly developed site.
Carr Villa's dedicated, specialised workforce has a sense of mission and an understanding of their role in the community.