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Allan Cunningham Memorial
Allan Cunningham Memorial

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson

A memorial commemorates the explorer Allan Cunningham.  It was erected in the centenary year of his discovery of the Darling Downs and the opening of the road between Brisbane and Warwick. The information plaque at the memorial references the fact that Cunningham located a track through Cunningham Gap in 1828 but it was difficult to negotiate and was classified as a bridle trail becuae of its steep unforgiving slope.

In 1827 Cunningham set out from the upper Hunter River to explore inside the Dividing Range, discovering the Darling Downs and returning in 1828 from Brisbane to discover Cunningham Gap.

The information on the plaque is incorrect, in that the gap that Cunningham saw in 1827 was in fact Spicer’s Gap, which is south of Cunningham’s Gap.    Cunningham’s Gap cannot be seen from where Allan Cunningham was in 1827.

At a meeting held in May 1927, discussing the unveiling of the Cunningham Memorial, Councillor P McMahon who was presiding over the meeting said that in 1926 a suggestion had been made that the centenary of the Darling Downs be fittingly celebrated. The suggestion was that a memorial be erected as an expression of gratitude for the discovery of the Downs; as a thanksgiving to God for the wonderful territory He had given the people and as a fitting tribute to the great courage and self-sacrifice of the explorer.
The Brisbane Courier, 10th May 1927.

A hundred years ago the famous Australian explorer, Allan Cunningham, discovered a gap leading to the Darling Downs, and, passing through it a vast territory of fertile land. To mark the centenary of that discovery a number of Queenslanders gathered at this spot on Saturday to attend the unveiling of a cairn and the opening of a new highway from the metropolis to the downs.
The Advertiser (Adelaide), 13th June 1927.

Location

Address:Cunningham Highway, Cunninghams Gap
State:QLD
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -28.049264
Long: 152.395164
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Discovery
Actual Event STart Date:11-June-1827
Actual Event End Date:11-June-1927

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 11th June, 1927
Front Inscription

ERECTED 
On 11th June 1927
To The Memory Of 
ALLAN CUNNINGHAM
Who Discovered the DARLING DOWNS
On 6th June 1827 
And This MOUNTAIN PASS 
On 11th Of The Same Month.

(lower plaque)
THE FOUNDATION STONE 
OF THIS MEMORIAL
Was Laid On 7th May 1927 
          By 
ALD. D. CONNOLLY, 
Mayor Of Warwick
Member For Warwick 
G. P. Barnes Esq

Right Side Inscription

This Cairn Was Unveiled
On The Centenary Date
     11th June 1927
               By
HON.W.FORGAN SMITH
Acting Premier of Queensland

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