Statement of Significance
What is significant?
The Prince's Park recreation reserve is a flat, low-lying site of approximately 25.6 hectares (64 acres) bounded by Park Road, Holyrood Street, Burns Street and Earl Street. The 7 hectare Lake Victoria forms a central feature and is surrounded by parkland serving a mix of active and passive recreation. The reserve is one of Victoria's oldest recreation reserves. Maryborough was proclaimed a municipality on 3 March 1857 and in September 1857 the Maryborough Cricket Club presented a petition to the Council that ground opposite Nightingale Street be reserved for the Club. In 1863 12 acres was permanently reserved and in 1895 an additional 52 acres was added to the reserve. The first grandstand, a building relocated from Market Square was moved to the Park in 1860s and in 1864 a cricket match against the English XI was held. In 1869, 62 trees were selected by Clement Hodgkinson, Assistant Commissioner of Lands and Survey. Excavation of the lake began in 1883 and Council sought advice from William Guilfoyle, Director of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens on the layout and planting, although little now remains of his work. In about 1939 the Council also obtained advice from the noted landscape designer Hugh Linaker.
Many improvements were made to the Park which had earlier been mined. Tree planting occurred around the oval, lake and reserve perimeter. The stone lined western drain to Wills Street was constructed in 1881, the Blackman's Lead arm (Earl Street) in 1885 and the western drain to Holyrood Street in 1886. The timber walls were replaced in 1903. Other improvements were a cast iron fence and gates 1885, which was modified in 1926 to include four stone World War 1 memorials to replace the central gate posts, a grandstand 1895, band rotunda 1905, ticket office 1908, and bridge 1909. In 1953 Coronation Park was formed when the community planted trees to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Although the landscape planting has been simplified and reduced in area for sports fields, playground and a caravan park, remnants of the early lake and perimeter conifer planting remain. Within the reserve is the registered 1940 Maryborough Municipal Olympic Swimming Pool (H1319). Lake Victoria holds an important population of Freshwater Catfish which were released into the lake in about 1982. The Catfish are listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and are classified as 'vulnerable'.
How is it significant?
Prince's Park is of historical, architectural, aesthetic, scientific (botanical) and social significance to the state of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Prince's Park is historically and socially significant being one of the oldest recreation reserves in Victoria. It has long served as a public meeting place for sporting contests, community events and for passive recreation. It has been the site of sporting events since it was first used as a cricket ground in 1857, only a few years after Yarra Park (1853) and Albert Park (1855) in Melbourne. The Highland Gathering has been held on New Year's Day at the Park since 1859 and is claimed to be the longest continuous sporting event in Australia. The Park has continued to be the venue for other sporting activities and competitions. Coronation Park was formed in 1953 when the Maryborough community participated in a tree planting to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
The 1895 Grandstand is of architectural significance as an important design of the long established and notable architectural firm, Thomas Watts and Sons. Thomas Watts (1827-1915) arrived in Victoria in 1853 and was one of the founders of the Victorian Institute of Architects in 1856 and the first Hon. Secretary. He was President in 1884-85 and in 1900. The architectural firm designed some of Victoria's most significant buildings, including Bontharambo (1858), CSR buildings (1872), Cramond House (1888), Dalmeny House (1888), Malvern House (1891-2). The Grandstand uses extensive turned wood decoration and is an early example of all timber decoration that became more widespread in late Victorian and the Edwardian period. The Grandstand is the only example of this type of building by Thomas Watts and Sons, and was modelled on the 1886 South Melbourne grandstand designed by William Elliot Wells which was destroyed by fire in 1926 and a similar grandstand at Victoria Park, Collingwood which was demolished in 1966.
Prince's Park is historically and aesthetically significant for its association with three important landscape designers in Victoria, Clement Hodgkinson, William Guilfoyle and Hugh Linaker although their influence and original design is now reduced. The Park includes a collection of buildings and structures now rare in Victorian reserves, the 1885 fence, and gates which was later modified to include four memorial pillars to World War I servicemen, the 1895 grandstand is on eof the earliest in Victoria and one only a few nineteenth century surviving grandstands. A band rotunda, designed by the long serving Town Clerk and Surveyor, 1887 to 1935, Henry Neville Phillips (the Phillips Gardens are named after him), erected to commemorate Maryborough's golden jubilee in 1904 and opened in 1905, and a rare 1908 ticket office, one of only three such structures in Victoria. The other two offices occur at the entrances to the Fitzroy Cricket Ground. The stone lined drain first formed in 1881, extended in 1886 and the Blackman's Lead drain (Earl Street) in 1885, and the 1909 bridge are attractively designed and crafted structures and are of historical and aesthetic importance.
The landscaped Lake Victoria, named in honour of Queen Victoria's golden jubilee, and formed in 1883-5 by prison labour and altered in 1982 is a significant landscape feature. The remains of three rows of Monterey Pines and a row of Weeping Willows around the waters edge forms an attractive landscape. A row of Dutch Elm trees frame the rotunda, and elms north of the grandstand and oval, and elms along the western drain and Holyrood Street, Monterey pines around the lake and along Burns Road are a major landscape feature of the reserve and of aesthetic value. The well positioned and designed buildings and structures positioned to the west side of the oval and the lake in a landscaped reserve are of importance and rare for recreation reserves in Victoria, with no other reserve having a similar collection of 1880-1910 structures. The art deco gentlemen's toilet is contemporary with the nearby registered swimming pool and is of aesthetic and architectural importance. The only similar landscaped recreation reserve in Victoria is at Benalla and on a smaller scale Melville Oval, Hamilton and neither have a collection of buildings, structures, lake and ornamental planting similar or as extensive as Prince's Park.
Prince's Park is of scientific (botanical) significance for the occurrence of Victoria's only recorded Phoenician Juniper, Juniperus phoenicea. Three Red Cedars, Toona ciliata, were planted about 1988 in the Park. They were propagated from an old Red Cedar in Phillips Gardens and the species is rarely cultivated in Victoria. Another uncommon tree is a fine specimen of Cupressus torulosa var. corneyana and north of the Tennis Courts is a fine stand of the Red flowering Ironbark, Eucalyptus sideroxylon 'Rosea'.
PRINCE'S PARK - HistoryContextual History:
The climate favoured outdoor sports, an abundance of land and a high proportion of men in the population, increasing prosperity and leisure time all favoured to formation of sports fields.
Cricket was on eof these popular sports and had been transported from England along with many other cultural values adopted in the colony. In the 1870s cricket gained in popularity, peeking in 1876 when a combined Vvctorian and New South Wales XI met and defeated the touring all- England XI. (Kingston p193).
In 1858 Melbourne had three football teams, Melbourne, Richmond and South Yarra. Within a decade, Emerald Hill (later South Melbourne) and St Kilda had formed clubs (Daley, p289).
It was not until the advent of the Saturday half holiday and shorter working hours which was instituted in the 1870s that football, and to a lesser degree cricket really took off as a spectator sports.
In 1897 eight major clubs withdrew from the Association to form the Victorian Football League.
History of Place:
1882 Tarnagulla Public reserve and Cricket Pavilion H736
1888 Fitzroy Cricket Ground Grandstand H751
Architects Nathaniel Billing and Sons
1891 Geelong Racing Club Timber Grandstand, moved from showgrounds in 1907 (in poor condition, application to demolish with City of Greater Geelong)
1895 Prince’s Park Grandstand, Thomas Watts and Sons Architects
According to conservation architect David Bick, The Grandstand’s extensive use of turned timber decoration is an early use of all timber decoration of the later Edwardian period. This Grandstand is the only 19th century example, which has all timber decoration. The Grandstand is based on the previous South Melbourne Grandstand which burnt down in 1926.
1896 Barmutha Park Grandstand, Beechworth
Reserved in 1856, former racecourse, 8000 pounds, first grandstand built in 1858
1898 Ballarat City Oval
Designed by Clegg, Kell & Miller
(Clegg and Morrow designed the South Melbourne Grandstand in 1926)
1900-10? Princess Park Grandstand
1902-9 Hamilton Grandstand and Band Rotunda
The Melville Oval Grandstand was opened in 1909 by the Hon. J Murray, Premier of Victoria. Frank Hammond the Town Clerk and Engineer was probably responsible for the design. By 1902 there were move s to beautify the former market reserve and use the area for recreation.
The Band Rotunda that stood beside the grandstand was relocated to the Botanic Gardens in 1988 and opened by the Mayor on 5 March 1989. The band rotunda was built in 1904. The builders were King Brothers, local builders and the cast iron columns came from Cochrane and Scott, Melbourne.
1902 Kingston Grandstand H1300, built at Smeaton and moved in 1922
1901 Queen Elizabeth Oval Grandstand H803, includes press box
1908 Minyup Grandstand
1912-13, 1918 Benalla Showgrounds Grandstand H976
c1925 The Western Grandstand, Geelong West, unusual bluestone construction
1926 South Melbourne Grandstand
Architects Clegg and Morrow
1927 Members Pavilion, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Architects Stephenson & Meldrum
1938 Glenferrie Oval Grandstand H890
Architects Marsh and Michelson
Need to check
Junction Oval Grandstand, St Kilda c1900-1910
Echuca Football ground, and adjoining Victoria Park, fountain, statues and memorial arch (H1092) 1884
1886 South Melbourne Grandstand, timber grandstand designed by Melbourne architect, William Elliot Wells (used as a model the Maryborough Grandstand). Destroyed by fire in August 1926. . Albert Park reserve 1862
Compare with Yarra Park and MCG, 1853, (see The Paddock that grew, Keith Dunstan)
Princess Park (Optus Oval), 1870s, Royal Park 1870s, Fawkner Park 1870s,
Albert Park 1850s. Cricket first organised sport played in 1855, then many other sports. Home of many of Melbourne’s early sporting clubs. An 1864 Hodgkinson plan shows carriage drive along Queens Road. See History of Albert Park, Jenny Keating and Jill Barnard
This comparison is incomplete
1859 The former Police Paddocks was reserved ‘for Botanic Gardens for the recreation for the recreation of the subjects and people and for no other purpose whatsoever. In 1873 the 24 acre reserve was permanently reserved as a botanic gardens.
In 1881 the Council approved the forming of an oval on land that had been used for vegetable growing. In 1887 the cricket and football clubs applied to use the oval.
In 1923 the Sailors and Seaman’s Memorial Pavilion was erected at the Oval
In 1934 the Annie Williams Memorial Bandstand was erected
Benalla Botanical Gardens
In 1859 land was set aside for public recreation, cricketing and other purposes of public recreation. The cricket ground and recreation reserve was temporarily reserved on 6 October 1873 as a site for Recreation purposes Rs 116.
In 1882 improvements commenced and in 1886 Council agreed to employ a landscape gardener to layout the grounds. Alfried Sangwell landscape gardener from Melbourne was appointed. He resigned on 27 August 1887.
The 186-7 plan shows an oval is a circle 135m (147 yards) in diameter. The diameter in in 1886 wasreparted to be 154 yards or 7 chains in diameter.
In 1890 a picket fence was erected around the oval and in 1896 council erected a grandstand, which was demolished in 1963 and replaced by the existing grandstand. An application for a bowling green was made in 1897, and had been formed by 1905. Tennis courts had also been erected by 1907.
In 1911 Cr W B Smith, Shire President, officially opened a rotunda designed by Mr Samuel Jeffery, Shire Engineer and Charles Summers on the 14 March. The entrance gates are believed to be of the same period. A war memorial was erected in 1922.
Portland Botanic Gardens
The Botanic Gardens reserve was established in 1851, and along with the Geelong Botanic Gardens, also 1851 are the second oldest in Victoria and follow the Melbourne Botanic Gardens, established in 1846.
The Portland Botanic Gardens reserve appears in a map of Portland prepared in 1853. In 1857 a prize was offered for the best set of plans and was won by Alexander Elliott’s, from the Melbourne Botanic Gardens. In the same year tenders were called to layout the gardens. The bluestone residence was erected in 1858, and in 1859 the garden was open every day to the public.
In 1863, 40 Chinese housed in the local gaol for illegal entry into Victoria were used t clear and do other work in the gardens
Not all of the land, 50 acres 3 roods was used solely for botanical purposes. In 1880 croquet lawns were laid out and are still in use. Tennis courts were also established by this date. In about 1907 the newly formed Portland Pastoral and Agricultural Society stated to develop land west of the botanic gardens into showgrounds.
In 1920 the right of private tennis clubs to occupy courts in the botanic gardens was queried and the courts were eventually removed. The Agricultural Society invited the Lawn Tennis Club to share Henty Park in the early 1900s. The Colts Cricket Club is also believed to have shared Henty Park at about this time.
In about 1958-60 Saltwater Creek was realigned and Henty Park and the Botanic Gardens was reduced in size from 50 acres 3 roods to 32 acres 2 roods. I 1965the reservation was changed from Botanic Gardens to Botanic Gardens and park and recreation reserve (permanent). In about 1975 a swimming pool was established in the Park and extended in 1990s.
Few 19th and early 20th century rotundas and band rotundas remain in Victoria. Rotundas have been lost from the Melbourne botanic Gardens, 1858, Alexandra Gardens Kew 1863, replaced 1910, and a remarkable elevated bandstand at the Camperdown Botanic Gardens 1878.
The oldest surviving in Victoria are the rendered classical buildings in the Fitzroy Gardens, the Band Pavilion 1864, and the Rotunda 1873. The oldest rotunda is in the Town hall Gardens Beechworth, 1876.
Other early band rotundas occur at Elder Park Adelaide 1881, Rushworth, 1888 and later altered, Walhalla 1896, Launceston 1896, Buninyong Botanic Garden s1901, [Temple of the Winds 1901, Royal Botanic Gardens, different style], Hamilton Botanic Gardens 1904 (formerly at Melville Oval, built for the Hamilton Band).
Prince’s Park Maryborough 1905 (designed by Town Clerk H N Phillips to commemorate the town’s golden jubilee in 1904)
Queenscliff, by 1907, Queen Alexander Rotunda Ballarat 1908, Beaufort 1908, Benalla Botanical Gardens 1911, Alma Park St Kilda, c1910-15, Victoria Park Sale 1913, SS Titanic Memorial Bandstand Ballarat, 1915, Johnson Park Geelong 1919, Caulfield Park 1919
Eastern Park Geelong ?1919
Thomas Watts and Sons
The architect for the Prince’s Park, Maryborough Grandstand was the long established architectural firm, Thomas Watts, and Thomas Watts and Sons.
Bontharambo Homestead (H359), 1858,
Former Baptist Church, Chapel Street, Prahran, 1866;
CSR Complex (H1311), Yarraville, designed first buildings in 1872
Baptist Church (H427), Aberdeen Street, Newtown, 1876
Baptist Church East Melbourne
Cramond House (H482), Carlton 1888
Dalmeny House (H525), Carlton
Thomas Watts and Sons
Former Sands and McDougall Warehouse, Spencer Street Melbourne, late 19th century
Malvern House (H379), Glen Iris, 1891-2 [refers to Baptist Church East Melbourne]
Prince’s Park Grandstand, Maryborough, 1895
Based on the information, Prince’s Park, has a number of elements that are of State Significance. An important architectural firm, Thomas Watts and Sons designed the grandstand, and is third oldest on its original site in Victoria. The use of turned timber in 1895 is an early use of this form of decoration, which was more common in late Victorian, and the Edwardian period of the early 20th century.
The recreation reserve is one of the oldest in Victoria and has remained an important sport and community reserve since 1857. The ticket box is the only known building of its type and the rotunda, fence, gates later incorporating a war memorial, bridge and drain are uncommon and contributory structures to the cultural heritage of Prince’s Park. The Juniperus phoenicea is the only known specimen in Victoria. The adjacent Swimming Pool is of State significance and is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.
The native Catfish population cannot be assessed under the Heritage Act, but the assessment by NRE that Lake Victoria holds a population of the threatened Freshwater Catfish is obviously highly significant.
The involvement at Prince’s Park of Hodgkinson, Guilfoyle and Linaker, although minor, is the only known occurrence of these three notable landscape designers in Victoria. Their involvement probably says more about the “grand scheme” the Council had for the place and the desire to obtain the best landscape advice in the State.
The best comparative place is Benalla Gardens designed in 1886 with an oval and ornamental gardens, tennis courts and bowling green. Grandstand 1963 and rotunda 1911, war memorial 1922. Also Meville Oval Hamilton, 1904-9 grandstand but the 1904 rotunda relocated to Botanic Gardens, and war memorial.
Others include Yarra Park/MCG, Fawkner Park, Royal Park, Albert Park, Princess Park, Carlton
All these have a formal avenue landscape treatment, unlike Maryborough.
Some Botanic Gardens later included sports fields, but recreation was not the original purpose.
PRINCE'S PARK - Assessment Against Criteria
The historical importance, association with or relationship to Victoria's history of the place or object.
The importance of a place or object in demonstrating rarity or uniqueness.
The 1895 Grandstand is the oldest in Victoria and one of only a few nineteenth century grandstands.
The planting contains Victoria's only known Juniperus phoenicea, and a rare Cupressus torulosa var. corneyana, three young Toona ciliata and a fine stand of 17 Eucalyptus sideroxylon 'Rosea'.
The place or object's potential to educate, illustrate or provide further scientific investigation in relation to Victoria's cultural heritage.
The importance of a place or object in exhibiting the principal characteristics or the representative nature of a place or object as part of a class or type of places or objects.
The importance of the place or object in exhibiting good design or aesthetic characteristics and/or in exhibiting a richness, diversity or unusual integration of features.
The 1895 Grandstand is an important design of the architectural firm, Thomas Watts and Sons, who designed a number of important Victorian buildings. The Prince's Park Grandstand is their only known example of this type of building. The Grandstand uses extensive turned wood decoration and is an early example of all timber decoration that became more widespread in the late Victorian and Edwardian period.
The Park includes a collection of 1881 - 1909 buildings and structures now rare in Victorian recration reserves; an 1885 fence and gates, later modified (1926) to include memorial pillars to World War 1 servicemen, 1904 rotunda, 1906 ticket office, stone lined drain (1881- 1886) and a 1909 bridge.
The buildings and structures are positioned in an attractive treed landscape influenced by three leading designers, Hodgkinson, Guilfoyle, and Linaker. The centrally positioned Lake Victoria (1883-5) is an significant feature of the landscape, and the planting of contrasting conifers, evergreen and deciduous trees is highly ornamental.
The importance of the place or object in demonstrating or being associated with scientific or technical innovations or achievements.
The importance of the place or object in demonstrating social or cultural associations.
Prince's Park is one of Victoria's oldest recreation reserves and is highly valued and extensively used by the community. Since 1857 the Park has been a meeting place for sporting contests, community events and a site for passive recreation. The Highland Gathering has been held on New Years day at the Park since 1857 and is claimed to be the longest continuous event in Australia.
Any other matter which the Council considers relevant to the determination of cultural heritage significance.
PRINCE'S PARK - Permit ExemptionsGeneral Conditions:
1. All exempted alterations are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the fabric of the registered place or object.
2. Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of alterations that original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the place or object are revealed which relate to the significance of the place or object, then the exemption covering such alteration shall cease and the Executive Director shall be notified as soon as possible.
3. If there is a conservation policy and plan approved by the Executive Director, all works shall be in accordance with it.
4. Nothing in this declaration prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions.
5. Nothing in this declaration exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authority where applicable.
Buildings and Structures:
*Minor repairs and maintenance which replace like with like.
*Painting of previously painted walls, posts, and roofing in the same colour.
*Treatments to stabilise and protect timber structures.
*Painting of previously painted walls and ceilings provided that preparation or painting does not remove evidence of the original paint or other decorative scheme.
*Removal of paint from originally unpainted or oiled joinery, doors, architraves, skirtings and decorative strapping.
*Refurbishment of existing toilets including removal, installation or replacement of sanitary fixtures and associated piping, mirrors, wall and floor coverings.
*Installation, removal or replacement of electrical wiring provided that all new wiring is fully concealed and any original light switches, pull cords, push buttons or power outlets are retained in-situ.
*Installation, removal or replace of bulk insulation in the roof space.
*Installation, removal or replacement of smoke detectors.
*The process of gardening, mowing, hedge clipping, bedding displays, removal of dead plants, disease and weed control, emergency and safety works and landscaping in accordance with the conservation plan.
*The replanting of plant species to conserve the landscape character.
*Management of trees in accordance with Australian Standard; Pruning of amenity trees AS 4373.
*Removal of plants listed as Noxious Weeds in the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.
*Repairs, conservation and maintenance to hard landscape elements asphalt and gravel paths and roadways, rock edging, fences and gates.
*Installation, removal or replacement of garden watering and drainage systems beyond the canopy edge of listed trees.
*Plant labelling and interpretive signage.
*All maintenance works to provide for quality turf and a safe playing surface.
*The erection and removal of temporary structures necessary for the staging of sports events and community functions.
*The maintenance and replacement of play equipment to meet Australian Standards; Playground equipment for parks, schools and domestic use As 1924; Playgrounds - Guide to siting and to installation and maintenance of equipment AS 2155; and Playground surfacing - Specifications, requirements and test method AS 4422.
*Management of the Caravan Park in accordance with the existing contract.
PRINCE'S PARK - Permit Exemption PolicyThe importance of Prince's Park is due primarily to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century structures, associated landscaping and its use as a recreation reserve since 1857. The Prince's Park Conservation & Masterplan prepared by John Patrick Pty Ltd (2000), identifies conservation and management of the Park. Future works should be in accordance with the recommendations of this report.
The purpose of the permit exemptions is to allow works that do not affect the cultural heritage significance of the Park. Intrusive elements and elements of no significance may be removed or internally altered without a permit from Heritage Victoria.
MARYBOROUGH COURT HOUSEVictorian Heritage Register H1475
MARYBOROUGH RAILWAY STATIONVictorian Heritage Register H1577
MARYBOROUGH MUNICIPAL OLYMPIC SWIMMING COMPLEXVictorian Heritage Register H1319
'Altona' Homestead (Formerly 'Laverton' Homestead) and Logan ReserveHobsons Bay City