The Queen Mary Gardens and Angwin Memorial Gates, 1-9 Napier Street, St. Arnaud, make a highly significant aesthetic and visual contribution to the predominantly Victorian and Federation streetscape. Established in 1884, the gardens were laid out in 1889 and were situated on the former St. Arnaud water reserve that had been created in 1864. The Gardens have significance as a 19th century, predominantly intact cultural landscape in the centre of the St. Arnaud township.
The Queen Mary Gardens and Angwin Memorial Gates are aesthetically significant at a LOCAL level. They demonstrate original visual and design qualities which include the open lawn areas with isolated mature exotic broadleaf and coniferous trees; garden beds of annuals; rose bed; perennials with a border of annuals; ornamental pond; wide and deep stormwater drain; wide, well maintained gravel paths; and the ornamental front gates of bluestone and cast iron.
The Queen Mary Gardens and Angwin Memorial Gates are historically significant at a LOCAL level. They are associated with the early development of the Gardens from 1884-89 to the present day. These Gardens are situated on the former St. Arnaud water reserve that had been created in 1864. The Gardens also have possible associations with William Guilfoyle, Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne, who may have acted in an advisory capacity. The site is also associated with the Angwin Memorial Gates that were erected about the turn of the century.
The Queen Mary Gardens and Angwin Memorial Gates are socially significant at a LOCAL level. They are recognised as having public value by the St. Arnaud community as an important recreational and landscape area, and for commemorate reasons respectively.
Overall, the Queen Mary Gardens and Angwin Memorial Gates are of LOCAL significance.
Queen Mary Gardens (including Angwin Memorial Gates) 1-9 Napier Street, ST ARNAUD - Physical Description 1
Description largely extrapolated from K. Walsh, 'Conservation and Landscape Recommendations for St. Arnaud's Queen Mary Botanical Gardens'.
The Queen Mary Gardens are located near the centre of St. Arnaud, which is an important landscape landmark in the town. The importance of the gardens is further enhanced by the close proximity and visual connections of the early substantial public and civic buildings in the town, notably the former Court House, old post office, fire station, former Kara Kara Shire Offices and the former Crown Lands Office.
The Queen Mary Gardens are characterised by open lawn areas with isolated mature exotic broadleaf and coniferous trees. Garden beds of annual remain in the Gardens, although they have been reduced in number in recent years. A rose bed on Inkerman Street is underplanted with perennials and has a border of annuals planted seasonally.
No remnant vegetation exists and the stock of Australian native plants is extremely limited, and even then these appear to be entirely of non-indigenous species.
An ornamental pond adds a cooling effect to the gardens. A wide and deep stormwater drain runs through the Gardens and is basically a formalised version of the St. Arnaud Creek. Wide, well maintained gravel paths remain from the earliest era of the Gardens. A bridge over the drain exists on the site of an earlier bridge.
Ornamental front gates of bluestone and cast iron remain intact from early this century. Cream brick toilets in the middle of this century are to be found north of the main drain. Nearby is a display glasshouse constructed in 1970. Tables, seats, bins and lights can also be found scattered throughout the Gardens.