Consecration Dell

September 24, 2019

The Heart of Mount Auburn

Of all the many spots within Mount Auburn, Consecration Dell has a special allure. Here, 1,600 feet from the Cemetery’s entrance, you can imagine history taking place, marvel at the beauty of nature, and find solace from the cares of the world in a woodland oasis.

Hidden behind the steep slopes that enclose it, the Dell is a 4.2-acre natural valley with a small vernal pool in its center. In striking contrast to the Cemetery’s otherwise manicured landscape, the Dell is reminiscent of the New England forest. Native woodland trees, shrubs, perennials, and groundcovers provide year-round interest and provide essential food and shelter for resident and migratory wildlife.

The Dell embodies all that is magical, rejuvenating, and special about Mount Auburn. Visit in the spring to experience the Dell in peak bloom with a chorus of birds providing a natural soundtrack. Retreat beneath its dense shade on a warm summer day to discover its quiet tranquility. In the fall, take in its jewel-toned colors and see the Cemetery as its earliest visitors might have.

No matter when you visit Consecration Dell, you will find the comfort and solace of nature just as Mount Auburn’s founders intended.

The world rolls round,–mistrust it not,–
Befalls again what once befell;
All things return, both sphere and mote,
And I shall hear my bluebird’s note,
And dream the dream of Auburn dell.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “May-Day”


A hillside is covered with native shrubs and trees. It is spring and the entire hillside is shades of green from the masses of plantings.

In 1997, the Cemetery began an ambitious project to restore Consecration Dell as a naturalistic woodland. With time and after much care, the Dell again reflects the earliest era of Mount Auburn’s history. This project, perhaps more than any other, symbolizes Mount Auburn’s long commitment to environmental stewardship.

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Woodland plants, native to the New England forest, dominate the Consecration Dell landscape. The shade-tolerant plants that thrive in this area have been carefully selected for their beauty and ability to provide beneficial habitat.

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Consecration Dell is located in the center of Mount Auburn’s 175 acres. Walking paths leading into the Dell include Vine Path, Ivy Path, and Violet Path.

If you cannot visit in person, visit the Dell virtually.


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