This Catholic church was dedicated in 1873. The Gothic building looks very strong and sturdy, and probably is, as I read the walls are 30" thick. It is constructed from local materials, including Black Range granite and Grampians freestone. The Bell tower is 70metres high, and as usual, I couldn't go inside for a look to see the statues and the marble Altar which was imported from Italy.
You can read all about it on the descriptive plaque outside the Church.
Next door is St. Joseph's Convent and St. Patrick's school.
In the main street of Stawell, I happened to notice a Mural in an arcade. The Mural was called "Pioneer Walk," and this is what it's all about. Paintings are of when Stawell was established and through its lifetime until today.
If you are interested in Athletics, then I think you would enjoy this Museum.
The Stawell Gift has been run every Easter since 1878, except between 1942-45 due to World War II
The Hall of Fame has a collection of artefacts, memorabilia, multimedia clips and archives dating back to the inception of the Gift in 1878.
It is in here, where I found out all the interesting little pieces of information that never made it into the paper, or did so before my time, some are quite amusing, like the winner of the old man’s race in the inaugural Gift back in 1878, being awarded a pig as first prize!
For me, being Australian, it was extra interesting, especially as one of my neighbours actually trained a winner of one of the Stawell gifts.
I liked the "Starter's Pistol," a duelling pistol used to start the first Stawell Gift race, and the "Rat Trap," used during the Depression in the 1930's to start races.
One wall was completely cover with photo's of all the winners. Display cases held the Gold cups, the athlete's clothing, their shoes, and other interesting bits and pieces.
I really enjoyed my look in here, and it was quite cheap too!
Have some fun, and take a photo of yourself winning the Stawell gift, I did!
The Hall of Fame is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm – closed Christmas Day.
Adults – $5..... Children (16 & under) – no charge
The Stawell Post Office building was built in the 19th century, when Stawell was enjoying a prosperous goldrush era. Built between 1874 and 1875, it was an essential communications tool when Stawell was a regional centre in the goldfields.
It was built in Victorian Italianate palazzo style, and now has been placed on the Commonwealth Heritage List.
I even found an original Red Letter-box on my walk along the main street, don't see many of these around these days!
Near the Town Hall, is the Town Hall HOtel, built by a local builder in 1874. The Hotel has been kept in good condition and is one of the original buildings in Stawell. The building was originally single storey, which has since been extended and altered on at least several occasions.
I had previously picked up the FREE STAWELL CULTURAL HERITAGE TRAIL GUIDE, which is a self guided driving or walking tour of Stawell. The guide has a map and information on all that we were about to see, all clearly written, including photo's, the guide was easy to follow.
Our tour began on the Western Highway, where historic building numbers 1,2,3 were all close together.
The buildings were the Shire Hall, built in 1866 and added to over the years.
Next, was the Pleasant Creek Court House, built a little earlier in 1860. This was one of Stawell's first public buildings. At one stage, it was used as the Mounted Police Barracks, before the Stawell historic society became custodians in 1981, and now it the home of Stawell district records and memorabilia.
The Museum is open 11.00 am to 4.00 pm Wednesday and Thursday
Lastly, was the Police residence, built in 1869. This was an elegant house, that was owned by the Police force for over 100years.
Stawell is a town proud to have the honour of holding the richest foot race in Australia
Walking the main street, I was enjoying the many old buildings and not looking at where I put my feet. For some reason, I looked down to the footpath, and there before me was a plaque embedded in the pavement with the name and date of a winner of the Stawell gift. More investigation and some back-tracking, I found these plaques began with the winner of the first Stawell Gift in 1878 and continued on.
Not all are here, as the families of the winners have to pay for the plaques, and some haven't done that, so there are a few gaps.
I thought this was a wonderful way of remembering these people, it is like the Hollywood walk of fame, only instead for the winners of the famous Stawell Gift.
Central Park was originally Cricket Club grounds in the 1860's. In 1898, the Stawell Athletic Club moved the Easter foot races to this location, and they have been here ever since.
The "Stawell Gift" is believed to come about from footrunning in the English midlands in the 19th century, where the winner of footraces received a small nugget of gold.
The Gift distance of 130 yards is believed to have originated from the distance between two local pubs in the English town of Sheffield. Australian professional foot running began in the colonial period as entertainment for miners on the Victorian goldfields, and from then-on, the sport thrived.
The Stawell Gift is an icon of Australian sport. It has been held in all but four years since 1878, and is one of the world’s most famous and prestigious foot races.
Every Easter, thousands of runners and athletics fans from all over Australia and all points of the globe make the annual pilgramage to Central Park. Betting on your favorite runner is available through Bookmakers on site. The races are directly telecast on Television around Australia.
For well over a century it was a male-only competition, but now there are events for both men and women of all ages and abilities, across distances from 70m to 3200m.
This is a real festival weekend, culminating in the 12 seconds of the Stawell Gift 120m final.
The inaugural winner, farmer William Jackson Millard won by inches and collected a first prize of 20 pounds.
The Stawell Gift is Australia's oldest and richest short distance running race.
Tickets can be bought online for either one, two or 3 days.
Monday, 1 April 2013 – Australia Post Stawell Gift Finals Day
$25 Adults, $20 Adults (Local), $15 Concession, $7 Children, $60 Family
Central Park has quite a nice small garden area behind the grandstand. In 1931, a Sundial Memorial and seat was built out of Grampian's freestone, and placed in the garden. It was unveiled by Miss Simmons, in memory of her father who was the owner of the Oriental Mine.
It is quite an impressive sundial!
All of the buildings in Central Park are on the Victorian Heritage list.
The No.1 Grandstand was built in 1899, for Easter Sports. It was restored between 1990/91, and is now in excellent condition and as near as possible to how it was originally built.
Following the Heritage Trail by car, we were led up what is known as the "Big Hill." There is plenty of space to park the car, then get out and have a look at the good view over Stawell and surrounds, including the Grampian mountains. We actually ate morning tea at one of the picnic tables, whilst enjoying the view!
At the top, is the Pioneer's Memorial, built in 1938 to honour the early resident's of Stawell.
Another piece of history here, is the "Dane Memorial Seat," erected in memory of Robert Dane who came to Stawell to mine in 1856. His wife was the first white woman to set up home here, and their daughter was the first white child born on the Gold Fields.
As it was Sunday morning, I was lucky enough to be able to go inside the Church.
The brick Church was built in Victorian Decorated Gothic Revival style between 1870-72.
There were many nice leadlight windows, other than that, it was quite plain.
Side by side, are the Mechanics Institute and the former MacKellar building.
Both of these buildings are of historic importance, both being built by local architect, George Inskip. The former McKellar's building at 174-178 Main Street, Stawell, was built in 1876, in Victorian style for Duncan McKellar, storekeeper and mine owner.
The three story high building includes the decorative parapet and a Coat of Arms relief with the date "A.D. 1878."
Adjoining the building, is the Mechanic's Institute at 170 Main Street, Stawell, built in 1874.
This building is built in Victorian Italianate style.
A drive or a walk around Stawell takes you back to the 1800's. Lots of the historic buildings have survived and now can be seen by future generations, just what type of architecture was used back then. It was quite fancy back then, arched windows, balustrades, lacework, not like the straight sided, plain buildings of today.
The War Memorials are located in the centre of a junction of two roads. One is of a Soldier, and the other is a globe, both commemorating the loss of men and women in the World Wars. A very nice Rose garden completes the memorial