Burke & Wills Web
www.burkeandwills.net.au
The online digital research archive of expedition records
© 2017

Burke Memorial Museum, Loch Street,
Beechworth, Victoria 3747.

Beechworth Museum

BEECHWORTH
Echoes of History
Historical & Cultural Precinct
ROBERT O'HARA BURKE MUSEUM
THE MAIN HALL OF THE MUSEUM WAS BUILT IN 1857 AS THE
HOME OF THE BEECHWORTH YOUNG MEN'S ASSOCIATION
WHOSE MEMBERS MET REGULARLY TO HOLD LECTURES AND
READ ESSAYS ON A BROAD RANGE OF SUBJECTS. IN 1858
THE GROUP WAS RENAMED THE BEECHWORTH ATHENAEM.
FOLLOWING THE TRAGIC DEATHS IN 1861 OF EXPLORERS
ROBERT O'HARA BURKE AND WILLIAM JOHN WILLS, THE
CITIZENS OF BEECHWORTH RESOLVED THAT A MUSEUM
WOULD BE BUILT AS A MEMORIAL TO BURKE WHO HAD
BEEN SUPERINTENDANT OF POLICE FOR THIS DISTRICT
FROM 1854 TO 1858.

IN 1863 THE BUILDING WAS EXTENDED AND FURTHER
ADDITIONS MADE IN 1874. THESE INCLUDED THE
STAINED GLASS BURKE MEMORIAL WINDOW DESIGNED BY
FERGUSON AND URIE. BETWEEN 1971 AND 1979
EXTENSIVE ADDITIONS WERE CONSTRUCTED INCLUDING
NEW WINGS TO THREE SIDES OF THE BUILDING. THESE
ADDITIONS LARGELY ENGULFED THE ORIGINAL
NINETEENTH CENTURY FORM OF THE BUILDING

In 1856, The Beechworth Young Men's Association established the Athenaeum and Public Library. Burke was the inspector of Police in Beechworth from 1854–8 and after his death, it was decided the most suitable tribute to the explorer was a museum of science. The Burke Memorial Museum was added to the library in 1863. Within the museum is the Burke Memorial Window, Burke's Bible and saddlebags from Burke's camels.

Burke Museum, PO Box 28 , Beechworth , Victoria 3747.
Phone/Fax: (03) 5728 1420.

Museum open daily except for Christmas Day.
Admission fee $6.50 adult.

Burke's Bible

This is the bible given to Burke by his godmother, A H Shawe Taylor. Inside the front cover is the following inscription.

Robert O'Hara Burke
From his friend and Godmother
A H Shawe Taylor
“The blessing of the Lord it maketh rich and He addeth no sorrow to it”
Prov. X 22.

Camels Saddlebags and Saddle Tree

These items were given to the museum by John Conrick of Nappa Merrie Station. He found these items on his station, near Cooper Creek shortly after settlement in October 1873. He donated the camel tree and saddlebags to the museum.

Burke Memorial Window

The Burke Memorial stained glass window was made by Ferguson and Urie of Melbourne at a cost of £30 and was added to the museum in April 1874.

The window features the National Colonial Flag of Australia of 1820. The red cross is the Cross of St George, the Emblem of NSW is in gold on the red cross. The emblems of England (white rose), Scotland (thistle) and Ireland (shamrock) are shown on the area around the cross. The blue disc has the Southern Cross in gold stars.

Heritage Listing

The Burke Museum has been listed on the Register of the National Estate since 1978 as a notable example of provincial Conservative Classicism.

Legal Status: Registered on 21/03/1978.
Place ID: 4521
Place File No: 2/08/230/0006
http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/index.html


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BEECHWORTH MUSEUM

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www.burkeandwills.net.au Burke & Wills Web The digital research archive of expedition records
© 2017, Dave Phoenix