Burke Memorial Museum, Loch Street,
Beechworth, Victoria 3747.
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 superintendent 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.
PO Box 28 ,
Phone/Fax: (03) 5728 1420.
Museum open daily except for Christmas Day.
Admission fee $6.50 adult.