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Pioneer MemorialPrint Page Print this page

Melbourne Pioneer Memorial
Melbourne Pioneer Memorial
Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The memorial commemorates the first burial place of Melbourne and the pioneers buried here. The memorial was erected by the Public Works Department in 1871. 

It was only in 1840 that the Flagstaff Gardens became known as such. Before that the site was known as Burial Hill, and the remains of many of Melbourne's earliest settlers were buried there, the first being a child of James Goodman, who died in 1836. The rapid growth of the settlement soon made this site unsuitable, so burials were discontinued there and in 1838 eight acres situated in Elizabeth street, about where the Victoria Market now stands, were set aside as a cemetery. It was not until March 9, 1870, more than 30 years later, that the graves in the Flagstaff Gardens were marked by anything more impressive than two dead wattle trees enclosed by a ramshackle picket fence. On that date a large cross was cut in the lawns, and a monolith was erected bearing the words - "Erected to the memory of some of the earliest of the pioneers of this colony whose remains were interred near this spot." The nature of this memorial was decided only after considerable controversy. It was originally proposed to enclose the area with stone kerbing and ornamental iron railings, but this would have cost £500, so the monolith, which may still be seen in the Flagstaff Gardens, was selected. The cross cut in the lawns has disappeared.
Excerpt from The Argus (Melbourne), 25 December 1920.

Location

Address:Lonsdale & King Streets , Flagstaff Gardens, West Melbourne, 3003
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.810812
Long: 144.953964
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Sub-Theme:Settlement
Monument Designer:Samuel Craven

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:April-1871
Front Inscription

Erected MMCCCLXXI To The Memory Of Some Of The Earliest Pioneers Of This Colony Whose Remains Were Interred Near This Spot

Source: MA,VMR
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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