Port Phillip Monument Print Page Print this page

Charles Grimes : 23-August-2011
Charles Grimes : 23-August-2011

Photographs supplied by Myles Dowling

The sandstone monument was erected in 1941 to commemorate the discoverers of Port Phillip Bay and the Maribyrnong and Yarra Rivers. 

It is positioned near the original junction of the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers, the two waterways explored by Charles Grimes in 1803, when he arrived from Sydney. While it is commonly believed that John Batman first extolled the virtues of site of Melbourne, some 32 years earlier Grimes made the claim that it was 'the most eligible place for a village.'

To the singing of "Rule, Britannia," by the public, Mr. A. D. Mackenzie, chairman, Harbour Trust Commissioners, unveiled yesterday afternoon a memorial to the discoverers of Port Phillip Bay and of the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers, erected just off the new Footscray road, near the swingbridge over the Maribyrnong. Mr Mackenzie said one of the first works carried out in Port Phillip was a wharf built by Capt. George Ward Cole. Mr Isaac Selby, secretary Old Pioneers' Memorial Fund, had wanted a site near the confluence of the Maribyrnong and Yarra rivers for the memorial, but port authorities had to visualise what the port was going to be 100 years hence. Eventually a new dock would be placed in that position, so the trust had found the present site for the memorial, where it was hoped it would be able to remain for ever. Mr. Selby said the memorial was due to the generosity of Mr Allan Tye. Mr. Selby suggested that Mr. Mackenzie might make available an area of land round the memorial which might appropriately be named Rebecca Park, after Batman's little vessel. The inscription on the memorial recites that Port Phillip was discovered by John Murray in the Lady Nelson in February, 1802: that the monument has been erected to mark the original junctionof the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers, and that the rivers were originally discovered by Charles Edward Grimes in February, 1803, and refound by John Batman in June, 1835. Other early historical facts are also recorded.  Mr. Augustus Wolskel, president Victorian Historical Society, Mr. John Gent, and Miss Helen Baillie, vice-president Australian Aborigines' League, were among the other speakers.
Argus (Melbourne), 24 November 1941.



Address:Sims Street, Small Reserve near Shepherd Bridge, Footscray Road, West Melbourne, 3003
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.806667
Long: 144.908388
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Actual Event STart Date:02-February-1803
Actual Event End Date:02-February-1803


Front Inscription

This Monument Has Been Erected To Mark
The Original Junction Of The
Yarra And The Maribyrnong Rivers
Which Was Near This Spot.
These Rivers Were Originally
Discovered By Charles Edward Grimes
In February 1803 And Refound
By John Batman In June 1835

Back Inscription

Port Phillip Was Discovered By John Murray
In The Lady Nelson In February 1802.
The First Vessel In Hobson`s Bay Was
The "Cumberland" With Grimes The Surveyor.
The First Man O`War Was The "Calcutta"
At The End Of The Same Year 1803.
The First Vessel To Ascend The Yarra
Was John P. Fawkner`s Enterprise

Source: MA,VMR,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design