The Glenrowan Heritage Precinct in the town of Glenrowan, Victoria, marks the site of the siege in late June 1880 by the bushranging Kelly Gang, led by Ned Kelly. The siege is a key event in the Kelly story, and it resulted in the death of two civilians and three gang members, and the capture of Ned. The site continues to draw crowds and although little original built fabric remains — Ann Jones’ Inn where the gang holed up burnt to the ground during the siege — many landscape features that figure in the story are recognisable. We have been working on a conservation and landscape management plan (CLMP) for the precinct, in association with John Patrick Landscape Architects and landscape consultant Jane Lennon.
Photo: Ann Jones’ Inn at Glenrowan with plate layers’ tents, 1880 : courtesy State Library of Victoria
After nearly two years on the run, the Kelly Gang held local residents hostage in Glenrowan, at Ann Jones’ Inn, while they waited for a police train to arrive, which they planned to derail. A gunfight broke out, resulting in the fatalities and the serious wounding of Ned — despite the gang’s use of the now-famous armour. The event was the focus of media attention at the time and Glenrowan soon became a tourist attraction.
The CLMP assesses and documents the cultural heritage values of the precinct and clarifies what is significant about it. It also provides a heritage policy framework to inform and guide management and future development, plus an historical summary of events in June 1880, a physical survey, analysis of landscape and built elements, and recommended approaches to interpretation for the site. The precinct includes public and private land.
Photo: Policeman in Kelly armour, 1880 — an image that demonstrates the immediate high level of interest in the siege : courtesy State Library of Victoria
Earlier this year, Lovell Chen senior associate Libby Blamey, recounted the story of the siege and discussed aspects of the heritage issues for Glenrowan at a National Trust of Australia (Queensland) event held at Boggo Road Gaol. She was one of three speakers at “The Trust Talks : Managing the Heritage of Wounded Places“.
Libby’s paper is available for reading online.