Powder Magazine, Beechworth

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"Built in 1860 to store the gunpowder used in goldmining, the powder magazine was designed to minimise the risk of exploding. Only copper fittings were used, an elaborate lightning rod was fitted and people entering had to wear special shoes. Should an explosion have occurred, the design of the build would direct the blast safely upwards. The magazine was closed in 1918 and fell into decay. The roof was removed to stop vagrants sleeping there and it was almost demolished. The National Trust restored the building in 1966."

"Beechworth Powder Magazine was constructed in 1859 by T Dawson and Company. In 1857 the Victorian Government passed an act to regulate the importation, carriage and custody of black powder which led to the construction of several Powder Magazines throughout Victoria. According to the National Trust, the Beechworth Powder Magazine is the best example in Victoria of this particularly important building type.

The architecture of the building features a classical style in the tradition of the early colonial military buildings. It is constructed in local granite and includes sever safety precautions within the structure which directs a potential explosion upwards to minimise damage.

The Powder Magazine was no longer being used by the end of the 19th century and was officially closed in 1918 and abandoned. Neglected for many years, the building was left to decline until the 1960's when local interest was raised and a restoration process began. In 1965, the project was formally adopted by the National Trust and opened to public access."



Beechworth Gaol

Operated as a gaol from 1860s to about 1920, and then various related purposes until 2004. There's more history on the Wikipedia page and there's a website for the redevelopment project.

I've had to split this over multiple posts, but there's a link at the end of each post that goes to the next one so just continue on.

Right wing.
Left wing and outside.
On the way out.

Somewhere between its closure and now, the site was open for self-guided tours, which is what these photos are from. While I have a lot of photos, I don't many words to go with them. So we'll see how it goes.

The main building is a Y-shape. You can see it in the main photon the About page. The cell-blocks form the arms of the Y and this building straight ahead is the leg.

Entrance into gift shop/ticket counter.

Leaving the gift shop, there's this room and then a hall and corridor that the camera found too dark and I can't remember what they were for, so we'll skip them and head outside to the exercise yard.

The bright yellow line is the guide line for the tour. So that's where it starts.

The door back inside is to the right there (white with blue surround). It goes into the main (Y-shaped) building.

Heading inside.

Courthouse, Beechworth

Originally published


From the information leaflet provided:

Built in 1858 of local honey coloured granite at a cost of £3730. It was the central Court of the "Northern Bailiwick" during the gold rush era and closed as a Court House in 1989 after 131 years of continual service. The Court had many roles. It served as a Magistrates Court, Court of Petty Sessions, County Court, Court of Assize (Supreme Court), Insolvency Court, Mining Wardens Court and Court of General Sessions. The Court sat every 12 weeks when the appointed Judge would arrive from Melbourne in his horse drawn vehicle. The lesser Courts were held at more regular intervals.


The benches form the Public Gallery (men only), the table and chairs are for the bar lawyers and prosecutors. On the right is the Jury Box. On the other wall, beside the fireplace, is the Dock (which figures in this image, which is reproduced on the wall there) and beside that the Reporters Bench. At the front of the room, are two Witnesses Boxes (only one visible here), the Clerk of Courts (table?) and the Judges Bench.

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