Nov 22

Ballarat East Town Hall Gardens

We know that once this belonged to Ballarat East. It was in Barkly Street, on the north end, on the East side, and faced Main Road.

ballarat east town hall 2

And how it contributed to the growth and democracy of our beautiful Ballarat East. And how it was the very centre of the Ballarat East civic centre that included a library, police station, fire station, while nearby was the train station, private hospital and then on Main Road all the shops, pubs, hostels and joss houses.

ballarat east town hall

However since that time many changes have been made. The Town Hall demolished (replaced by a school, now the senior campus of Ballarat Secondary College), the police station demolished, a fire decided the fate of many enterprises in Main Road. So what now? Who can use it? Who owns it? Who will take care of it? Why aren’t we celebrating it? Why doesn’t it appear in our tourism information? What shall we do? Was it demolished in the move to obliterate Ballarat East (or is the chip on my shoulder getting bigger?)

The Gates

Side Garden

Garden Seat







  1. Roger Moulton says:

    Having sold a farm in Ballan we have just moved into Ballarat East. What a beautiful place. On one of my morning walks I discovered the Ballarat East Town Hall Gardens. This could be a beautiful place tucked away out of sight however in very neglected.So much rubbish and graffeti. How can it be cleaned up and cared for? I would love to help. Is anyone interested?

  2. David says:

    i would love it if someone would organise a day to do a clean up and get rid of the rubbish for a start. It is a lovely area.

  3. And another…
    Monday 1 August 1864
    The conversion of the manure-depot-like waste in front of the Ballarat East Town Hall into ornamental gardens is fast coming about. The ground has been
    formed, and manure and black soil are now being thrown down in readiness for the gardener proper, whose task it will be to lay out the beds, borders,
    and paths, which together will make a very pretty place of the late hideous wilderness of holes, hills, and debris. A broad level terrace in front of the
    hall will be approached by a wide flight of stone steps leading from the gardens, and another flight of steps will afford access from Barkly street to the
    terrace. This latter approach will always be open, but gates will close the other approaches. A hand-some fence will enclose the gardens, running along
    the edge of the terrace and the boundaries of the gardens all round. Large carriage-way gates will be erected at the bottom in the right-of way, and side gates for the admission, of pedestrians will also be erected, the Barkly street side of the fence being painted in bronze color. The whole improvements when finished, will be a very pleasant addition to the attractions of the Eastern borough.


  4. Here’s a little something I just found on Trove:
    Friday 23 September 1864
    The improvements in the reserve at the Ballarat East Town Hall are now all but com
    pleted. On the 7th inst, the mayor (Mr J. Fussell) and various councillors, planted valuable trees therein.*ignore*%7C*ignore*|||l-title=189|||l-word=*ignore*%7C*ignore*

  5. I walk through here regularly with my pram on the way into town. I’m also setting a few parts of my novel here (if dates prove to match). I love this area. My partners ancestor was born in a pub on the corner (now the chinese restaurant) and I have a few images you might find useful. Will email them through.

  6. Meredith Harvey says:

    I think in the 70’s or 80’s … that’s 19, not 18! … a perfumed garden was planted somewhere there as part of a sensory garden for people’s pleasure. Each time I walk through the area I think how great it would be if Horticultural students from the Senior Campus could undertake projects in that beautiful space and Drama students make use of the outdoor theatre … but, too late for that with the demise of the Senior Campus … an area to keep an eye on, especially if the site falls into the hands of developers.

  7. Colleen says:

    A well hidden gem. I must call in and have a wander.

  8. margaret says:

    These gardens & property looked just beautiful in its day. We walk through there all the time as a shortcut into town – lovely area and yes ….. why don’t we recognise and celebrate this (once) beautiful place!!

    Margaret & Martin, King Street Sth, BE

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