Clunes – Victorian Gold Rush Town

Clunes Main St

Step back into the gold rush era in Clunes – Victorian Gold Rush Town with street-scapes straight out of a colonial history book. This picturesque and laid-back town was once the fifth largest in the State and had rivers of money flowing through it.

As one of the most original and intact gold towns in Australia, Clunes in Victoria is a unique place to visit with a camera. The streetscapes and colonial archirecture are original and represent a journey back in time to the 1800’s.

In 1851 the first gold discovered in Victoria was found here and the great gold rush was about to start, with miners arriving from all round the world.

Clunes has one of the best collection of well-preserved 19th century architecture. The main street is wide enough to turn a horse and wagon. The post office opened in October 1857 and in 1874 Clunes was connected to the Victorian railway network.

Clunes - Gold Rush Town
Left – the former London Chartered Bank bank built in 1871 to a design by architect Leonard Terry. On the right is the old State Savings Bank c1871 – Main St, Clunes VIC


“Leonard Terry (1825-1884), architect, was born at Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, son of Leonard Terry, timber merchant, and his wife Margaret, née Walker. He reached Melbourne in 1853 and after six months was employed by C. Laing.  Evidence suggests that he did not, as has been alleged, acquire sole control of Laing’s practice in 1855; but by the end of 1856 he had his own practice in Collins Street West; after Laing’s death next year Terry succeeded him as the principal designer of banks in Victoria and of buildings for the Anglican Church, of which he was appointed diocesan architect in 1860. His first-recorded commission, late in 1856, was the design of Sands and Kenny’s printing house in Collins Street West, which he remodelled in 1864.

Other commissions included a number of bluestone warehouses in central Melbourne, especially in 1857-58; the Melbourne Club of 1858; the works of the Victoria Sugar Co., Sandridge (Port Melbourne) of 1857-59 (burnt 1874); Alfred Joyce’s house, Norwood, near Maryborough, of 1863-64; and the large James McEwan & Co. ironmongery warehouse of 1869″ ….  This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6, 1976 you can read it in full here

Clunes – Victorian Gold Rush Town

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Heritage and History Tragic... chasing the past, one picture at a time!

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