Royal Park named for heritage protection

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Royal Park should be legally protected for its cultural significance according to government body Heritage Victoria.

Victoria Heritage Executive director Tim Smith has recommended to the Heritage Council that the 160 year old park be included on the Heritage Register that lists the state’s most significant places.

Permits are required for any activities on a heritage listed place that “demolish, damage or despoil, develop or alter or excavate” the land or object protected.

When Melbourne was developed, land for a ‘royal park’ was set aside for purposes of health and recreation.  Lieutenant-Governor Charles La Trobe played a key role in securing the land now known as Royal Park.

In the 1860s, Royal Park had an ‘experimental farm’ where people thronged to watch ‘ploughing matches’.

It also housed an ‘acclimatisation reserve’ in which exotic animals were made comfortable in harsh Australian conditions.

Famed explorers Burke and Will set off from the park in 1860 after acclimatising their camels at the reserve and camping in the park themselves.  A memorial now marks their place of departure.

The park has also been used by police and for military purposes – as well as being the first home of the Brunswick Cricket Club in 1858 and early Australian Rules football matches in 1865.

The land has also been a camping ground for the Wurundjeri people and a place for corroborees and visiting groups over thousands of years.

It is described as exhibiting particular aesthetic characteristics including “remnant indigenous vegetation and important views to the city.”

“It is the only example of an inner Melbourne park which retains stands, as opposed to specimens, of remnant indigenous vegetation and clearly demonstrates an ongoing dedication to planting native and indigenous trees over a period of more than 150 years,” the recommendation reads.

Owners and people with an interest in the place or object can make a submission before 21 April.  The Heritage Council will make a decision following the submission process, but a date for this decision has not been set.

A spokesperson for Heritage Victoria was unable to comment on the implications for the East West Link proposal prior to the final decision on heritage registration being made.

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  1. Royal Park named for Heritage Protection | Saving Melbourne - February 28, 2014

    […] Source: https://eastwestlinkblog.com/2014/02/25/royal-park-named-for-heritage-protection/ […]

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