Brighton Cemetery was gazetted in 1858 and has been in continual use ever since. It is of state significance for the following reasons:
- its importance in the course of Australia's cultural history as a sophisticated and substantially intact example of a Victorian garden cemetery in the romantic style.
* It exhibits unusual cultural features associated with the development of romantic style Victorian garden cemeteries.
- its possession of uncommon aspects of Australia's cultural history as a Victorian garden cemetey.
* Its importance in demonstrating a distinctive way of life, custom, and design no longer practised and in danger of being lost. It is of exceptional interest as most Victorian garden cemeteries no longer demonstrate their characteristic design as twentieth century overcrowding and neglect have generally resulted in the loss of earlier Victorian schemes.
- its potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Australia's cultural history.
* Its importance for information contributing to a wider understanding of Australian history, by virtue of its use as a research and reference site.
* Its importance for information contributing to a wider understanding of the history of human occupation of Australia. For example by providing information about the patterns of deaths in the colonial city by age, religion and family; and sometimes giving causes, occupations and other information. By illustrating the importance of homelands in epitaphs and also by demonstrating the range of technical and craft skills and materials available.
* Its strong links with the township of Brighton.
* For trees planted within the first decades of the development of the city, and therefore of some botanical interest as being amongst the earliest surviving tree plantings in the metropolis.
* For its value as a historical record, a collection of individual memorials, its continuity and security, for the manner in which it inspires a respect for the dead, a social document, and for its role in education a recreation.
- its importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of: A class of Australia's cultural places, being Victorian garden cemeteries in a romantic style.
* Its importance in demonstrating the principal attributes which are characteristic of the class. These are: an ornamental boundary fence, curviliner paths and landscaping, highlighting of topographical contours with established view lines and landmark features, provision of recreational facilities such as rotundas, symbolic plantings, and high quality Victorian buildings, enclosures and monuments.
* Its importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of the range of human activities in the Australian environment (including way of life, custom, process, land use, function, design or technique). It demonstrates the Victorian approach of seeing burial grounds also as a public park. For health reasons the cemetery was located outside populated areas but was designed to be an attractive destination for visitors. It also demonstrates that, although this was a secular cemetery, religion was very important with the allocation of land based on religious census figures.
- its importance in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement of the Victorian and later periods.
* importance for technical, creative, design or artistic excellence, innovation or achievement, including monuments of state significance such as Ballantyne, Coulson, Kernot, Miller mausoleum and Ogg monuments, the 1892 Lodge and 1928 office extension, fence, entry gates, internal brick roads and footpaths, Jewish chapel and the cemetery's collection of memorials, tombstones and other funerary art.
- its strong or special associations with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.
* Its importance as a place highly valued by a community for reasons of religious, spiritual, symbolic, cultural, educational and social associations. Brighton Cemetery has special associations for the local community because of its continual use since 1858.
- its special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in Australia's natural or cultural history.
* Its importance for close associations with individuals whose activities have been significant within the history of the state or region and are illustrated in the monuments and epitaphs to them, including Sir Thomas Bent, William Guilfoyle, Sir John Monash, "Squizzy" Taylor, Charles Webb; artists Guy and Penleigh Boyd, Dora Carrington, E Phillips Fox, Fred McCubbin; and authors Rolf Bolderwood, Ada Cambridge andAdam Lindsay Gordon.