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05-February-2020 (John Huth)
05-February-2020 (John Huth)

Photographs supplied by Glen Yeomans / Roger Johnson / John Huth

An obelisk commemorates the birthplace of the poet, Henry Lawson.

Henry Hertzberg Lawson was born on 17 June, 1867 in a tent on the goldfields at Grenfell, New South Wales. His father was originally a Norwegian sailor whose name was Neils Larsen. He changed his name to Peter Lawson and became a gold miner.

Lawson went to school at Eurunderee and Mudgee, and at the age of nine, he developed an ear infection and became partially deaf. By the time he was fourteen Henry was totally deaf. He had a very difficult childhood, as the family was very poor. After leaving school early, Lawson helped his father on building projects. His first employment came as an apprentice railway coach painter in 1887.

His parents separated in 1883 and Lawson moved to Sydney with his mother. In 1887, Louisa bought a newspaper called the Republican and it was here that Lawson`s first writing was published. That same year, the Bulletin published Lawson`s first poem and in 1888, it published his first short story, "His Father`s Mate". Henry Lawson remains one of Australia`s most famous writers.

GRENFELL, Friday. The unveiling of the memorial to Henry Lawson, which has been erected on the spot where he was bom 67 years ago, was performed yesterday before a very large number of people, including 400 school children. The Mayor presided, and after stating that they were honouring a native born, Henry Lawson, he asked Mr. A. H. Grimm, M.L.A., to perform the ceremony. Mr. Grimm said that no greater honour could be conferred upon him than that he should be asked to unveil the memorial to Australia's poet. He had been acquainted with the poet at 17. The music of song called him, and it was right that Grenfell, his birthplace, should honour him. He asked the school children to learn Lawson's poems. They were Australia's history, the history of the bush.
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW),  22 March 1924.

There are 12 interpretive plaque positioned along the curved walking path. These plaques explain  the circumstances of Lawson life and celebrate his many achievements while acknowledging the challenges he experienced. Each plaques has a different theme and tells the story of Henry Lawson’s life from its beginning in Grenfell in 1867, to his death in 1922.


Address:Lawson Drive, Grenfell, 2810
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.905972
Long: 148.164447
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 21st March, 1924
Front Inscription

Plaque :

Said Grenfell To My Spirit

(Writer was brought in long clothes from Grenfell Goldfield to Mudgee Town) 

Oh said Grenfell to my spirit, 
"Though you write of breezy peaks, golden gullies, wattle sidings, and the pools in She-Oak creeks, 
Of the place your kin were born in the childhood that you knew, 
And your father`s distant Norway (though it has some claim on you),
Though you sing of dear old Mudgee and the home of Pipeclay Flat,
You were born on Grenfell Goldfield - and you can`t get over that."  
Henry Lawson

Plaque :

This obelisk marks the birthplace of Henry Lawson  


1867 - 1922

A. Bembrick  Shire Pres.  
M Durning     Mayor.         Mar 1924

Left Side Inscription


(On seeing a recent picture of the old place)

I remember the tents and saplings, and the mullock heaps piled by the holes ;
I remember the clack of the windlass and the run of the rope on the boles,
The rush, and the scenes on the gold fields by better men pictured and told,
And the desolate, desolate old fields - and the red flags of payable gold.  

Henry Lawson

Back Inscription


(On seeing a recent picture of the old place)

And the drovers go out to their droving, with hack and with packhorse and all,
And the young fellows go to their roving when they hear from the north west the call
And selectors go out to the shearing from the hills in the drought burning brown -
For a cheque for the fencing and clearing - and i still see the wool teams come down.  

Henry Lawson


Right Side Inscription

A fragment of autobiography

The Tent And The Tree

I had a dreamy recollection of the place as a hut ;
Some of my people said it was a tent, on a good frame - for father was a carpenter, -
The tent was the same that I was born in, on the Grenfell Goldfield some three years before.  

Henry Lawson

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